Fairfield University and Child & Family Guidance Center partner to offer expanded, private counseling, clinical training and research opportunities


Image: Koslow CenterFairfield University's Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program announces a new partnership with Child & Family Guidance Center (CFGC) of Greater Bridgeport, a collaboration that will expand private counseling options for local families, offer excellent clinical training and research opportunities for Fairfield graduate students as well as provide workshops for area clinicians.

"We were approached by Child & Family Guidance, a longstanding clinical placement site, with a partnership proposal," said Rona Preli, Ph.D., the department chair of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program (MFT) and associate dean of Fairfield's Graduate School of Education and Allied Profession. "It's a creative use of the Kathryn P. Koslow Center for Marriage and Family Therapy that aligns with our Jesuit values here at Fairfield."

The partnership is the first of its kind between MFT and a large social service delivery agency, such as CFGC, which offers a range of services from home healthcare and behavioral health to crisis intervention, advocacy, child mental health and substance abuse services, as well as a large Hispanic outreach program. CFGC will be using the Koslow Center, a private, state-of-the-art facility located on the west side of campus, to meet with families and children.

"The benefit to CFGC is that Fairfield University offers cutting edge scholarship and clinical research which will enhance our services to families," said L. Philip Guzman, Ph.D., CFGC's president and CEO. "CFGC, on the other hand, brings a population of diverse and multi-problem families that students can observe which will inform their training. All in all, this is a wonderful partnership that benefits Fairfield U. students and families served by our agency."

The Koslow Center is the clinical training facility for MFT, and Dr. Preli said that the partnership offers the graduate students the opportunity to observe and interact with a wider network of clients. "Clinical training is enhanced and enriched by exposure to and the opportunity to interact with a multiethnic, multiracial population," she said.

The partnership will hopefully result in joint grants and collaboration on research projects in the future. "It is our expectation that graduate students who come through the Koslow Center, will be better prepared to work in any clinical setting and treat all types of problems a family may present," Dr. Guzman said.

The MFT program was recently re-accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). The renewal was granted through 2018 and, once again, the program met all criteria with no stipulations. "The excellence of this review by such a prestigious agency speaks volumes to the fine work of our faculty, and to the excellent education and clinical training our students put into practice every day in the Kathryn P. Koslow Center," said Dr. Preli. "We are enormously proud of the work we do here, and the achievements of our students are testament to the success of that work."

As an outgrowth of the partnership, a joint symposium that will be of interest to area therapists will be offered at Fairfield University. On Friday, May 2, MFT and CFGC will present "The Person of the Therapist," a six-hour workshop with renowned clinicians and authors Drs. Harry Aponte and Marlene Watson. Dr. Aponte is known for his work in Structural Family Therapy and Dr. Watson is associate professor and former department chair in Couple and Family Therapy at Drexel University. The workshop will focus on the use of self in therapy and offer guidelines for supervising therapists as well as the importance of race as a critical component in therapy and supervision.

The workshop, which will be held in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room, runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the fee is $65 for professionals until April 15 and $80 after April 15. The student rate is $45. For more information, contact Janine Huber at jhuber@fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2140.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 11, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 264