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In celebration of The Family Institute's 50th Anniversary

Aaron Cooper, Ph.D.
• May 17, 2019

"When we speak of the ties that bind, few pull as tightly as our family ties. Whether through birth or by choice, the people with whom we build our strongest connections — the people we call family — can lift us to peaks of joy or deliver us to depths of despair. The grip of family is familiar to us all, its dramas recounted from the time of ancient storytelling through centuries of song and literature, to film and television today.

"For thousands of years, narratives of family life have brought audiences to laughter and to tears. Of course it's not tales of peace and harmony that captivate us so much as the trials by fire that are part of every family's experience. The irresistible pull of these dramas has inspired many into becoming family therapists and led to the creation fifty years ago of The Family Institute at Northwestern University."

We invite you to read this special piece, written by Dr. Aaron Cooper, in celebration of The Family Institute's 50th anniversary, about the connection between the health of individuals and the health of their families. Dr. Cooper also explores how notions of family have changed in the past 50 years and will transform in the next few decades.

Aaron Cooper, Ph.D.

During Dr. Cooper’s forty plus years as a psychotherapist, he has been exposed to a great many therapeutic approaches and schools of thought and has assembled his own eclectic framework. How he approaches couples counseling differs in some ways from how he approaches family and individual therapy, but all his work is informed by the belief that our emotions tell us a lot about ourselves and our relationships — and so are critically important to understand.