BEYOND THE CLINIC: IN-HOME THERAPY WITH HEAD START FAMILIES

Authors

  • Volker Thomas,

    1. Purdue University
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    • Volker Thomas PhD, is Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University, 1269 Fowler House, West Lafayette, IN 47907–1269.

  • Eric E. McCollum,

    1. Virginia Plytechnic Institute and State University
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    • Eric E. McCollum, PhD, is Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the Department of Family and Child Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University-Falls Church, Northern Virginia Graduate Center, 7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA 22403–2311.

  • Wendy Snyder

    1. Virginia Plytechnic Institute and State University
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    • Wendy Snyder, MPH, MS, is Adjunct Instructor and Supervisor in the Department of Family and Child Development, Virginia Polytehnic Institute and State University-Falls Church, Northern Virginia Graduate Center, 7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, VA 22403–2311.


Abstract

Social workers and case managers have provided in-home services to families for some time. The field of Marriage and Family Therapy, however, has begun to do in-home work only recently. This paper describes the experiences of MFT interns who worked with families in their homes. Two university graduate MFT training programs conceptualized and practiced in-home therapy with families who had at least one child enrolled in the local Head Start program. This collaborative effort was part of the AAMFT-Head Start Training Partnership Project that had the goal of funding projects that demonstrated successful partnerships between MFT and Head Start. Six interns worked with 27 Head Start families in their homes. A model of the interns' transition from clinic-based to home-based therapy is discussed and applied to working with Head Start families. The framework of in-home therapy is expanded to conceptualizing larger systems and community-based interventions, and recommendations for family therapists in private practice and agency settings are made.

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