Communities That Care for Families: The LINC Model for Enhancing Individual, Family, and Community Resilience


  • This article is based on a plenary address presented at the Second Greenville Family Symposium (cosponsored by the American Orthopsychiatric Association, the Clemson University Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life, the International Family Therapy Association, and the International Society for Child Indicators) at University Center in Greenville, SC, in April 2010. Landau was past president of the International Family Therapy Association at the time.
    The research described in this article was supported in relevant parts by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Pamela R. L. Lessing Foundation, the Argentinian Department of Health, and the Fulbright Commission. The author would like to express her gratitude to Gary Melton and Emily Baldwin for their editing of this article.

concerning this article should be addressed to Judith Landau, Linking Human Systems LLC, Suite 440, 1790 30th Street, Suite 440, Boulder, CO 80301. Electronic mail may be sent to


The resilience of families and communities is inextricably linked. Their healthy functioning relies on a balance of stressors and resources. Both can be jeopardized by major challenges such as socioeconomic change or natural and man-made disasters. Such events can cause increased incidences of physical and mental problems such as addiction, posttraumatic stress syndrome, and heart disease. Trauma breeds marginalization, abuse of power, and prejudice. How these stressors are handled is profoundly influenced by the degree of connectedness—attachment—to family and culture of origin. Connectedness can be enhanced by mobilizing support systems, facilitating access to resources, strengthening family, community and cultural ties, and fostering resilience. The LINC Model increases connectedness at the individual, family, and community levels. This article includes methods for designing interventions, studies and clinical vignettes that illustrate the application of the LINC Model, and examples of communities that have overcome major stress.