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Free therapy available through the Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic

CHICAGO – November 2022 –For many the holidays are a time for celebration and gatherings with family and friends, but for others this comes with a tremendous amount of stress and worry.  The Family Institute at Northwestern University understands the need to provide support to people from all walks of life during these times, regardless of their ability to pay.  

The Family Institute has seen that generalized anxiety disorder is among the most diagnosed condition and among the leading triggers of stress.  This along with the additional stress of the holidays can be paralyzing for some, creating additional unwanted stress and depression in a time meant for happiness.   According to an American Psychological Association poll nearly a quarter of Americans reported feeling ‘extreme stress’ during the holidays due to family drama, lack of time, tightened budgets and pressures to give or get gifts. This can be particularly true for lower income families or those that struggle to find additional income to afford the holiday season, making it difficult for them to seek help during these most stressful times.  

At The Family Institute, we believe cost should not be a barrier to access mental health care. Through the Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic, we currently provide free couple and family therapy services to those that quality.  Staffed by graduate level therapists-in-training and supervised by highly trained licensed therapists, clients can gain the support needed to reduce distress and improve relationships.  Clients of the Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic can be seen via teletherapy or in our Chicago and Evanston locations.   

To learn more about our services, Puja Shah, Director of The Bette D. Harris Family & Child Clinic and Community Programs, can walk through how we have worked with over 1,200 clients in the past year alone.  The Family Institute also invites the community to come meet with some of our students at our recently renovated Evanston location, located on the Northwestern University Campus.   

We also have additional resources available to those looking for tips to manage holiday stress. Read Managing Holiday Stress, Thankfully Mindful or watch Ensuring an Emotionally & Physically Safe For Challenging Conversations to help navigate some of those more difficult times. For those that may be in more immediate need of support please visit our website to request an appointment.  


Media Contact: Crystal Reynolds, Director of Marketing,   


Incorporated in 1969, The Family Institute at Northwestern University is committed to strengthening and healing families, couples, children and adults through the highest quality, relationship-based mental health services. As partners to see change, The Family Institute brings together research, education and clinical practice leading to growth for our clients, the next generation of therapists and the field of behavioral health.   

The Family Institute conducts cutting-edge research to better understand mental health issues and treatment, operating two nationally renowned graduate programs through the Center for Applied Psychological and Family Studies at Northwestern University in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy. For more information, visit