Our History

Since the 1960s, The Family Institute at Northwestern University has been committed to strengthening and healing families from all walks of life through clinical service, education and research. An affiliate of Northwestern University, The Family Institute helped pioneer the field of family therapy, based on the idea that people's psychological problems could not be understood or treated in isolation from their families. This was a fundamental departure from the traditional practice of treating individuals in isolation and it gave rise to entirely new models for therapeutic care.

Much like a teaching hospital in the medical arena, The Family Institute is a center for direct care, for academic learning and for new discovery.

The Institute provides counseling and psychotherapy throughout the Chicago metropolitan area including community-based mental health services for low income, at-risk families. It now helps more than 7,000 people annually.

The Family Institute also operates graduate programs in marriage and family therapy and counseling at Northwestern University and conducts important research projects that lead to better understanding of mental health issues.

The distinguished professional staff and faculty include internationally recognized experts who combine the roles of therapist/teacher/scientist.

This integration of treatment, education and scientific investigation creates a critical mass for making new discoveries, forging creative solutions and developing innovative approaches to therapy. No other institution brings together such a concentration of knowledge, expertise and academic credentials in marriage and family therapy.

Read about our milestones.