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Family change can arise in many ways — everything from parental separation and divorce, to terminal illness or death, to deployment or incarceration and more. No matter what it is, change is challenging for a child, but not impossible.

  • When children are able to express their feelings of anger, confusion, fear and sadness, they want understanding. When they get that, healing occurs.
  • When children tell their story of family change and imagine a happy ending, healing occurs.
  • When children remember that their inner core is good and valuable, even when their outer structure has changed, healing occurs.


We have partnered with Rainbows — a source of support for youth as they navigate grief and heal from loss — to provide a healing peer group experience. This experience is specifically for children coping with change, at no cost to families. 

Rainbows at The Family Institute helps young people mend their own identity and family identity, avoid destructive behavior and strengthen problem-solving and anger management skills. 

Certified Rainbows facilitators guide children through a 14-week structured syllabus with the exclusive purpose of healing pain. Activities include:

  • Art projects
  • Dramatic play
  • Games
  • Journaling
  • Storytelling

The program meets at our Northbrook location for 14 weeks starting in the Fall (October) and ends in March. Sessions are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. 

The program is free of charge to families. Sign-up for Rainbows takes place in mid-October and the program lasts for 14 weeks to early March.

The program is facilitated by graduate students in The Family Institute's graduate counseling programs.