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Center for Family Therapy changes name

The Couples and Family Therapy (CFT) program has changed the name of its training clinic, the Center for Family Therapy, to the Center for Healthy Relationships effective immediately. Located in the HEDCO Clinic near the corner of 17th and Alder streets in Eugene, the center serves UO students and community members seeking individual, couple, relationship, family, and/or group counseling.

The program vetted this proposed change with its students and alumni and received unanimous, positive support. The name change also was approved by College of Education Dean Randy Kamphaus and his advisory board.

The clinic serves the community with quality, affordable services that are inclusive to diverse identities. It aims to build preventative, evidence-based, wellness-based practices that honor the many reasons a person may seek counseling and support. The CFT program believes this new name better fits its overall objectives, as it seeks to grow its client base and fully communicate the breadth of its services as a community mental-health agency.

The CFT program also believes this change reflects a more inclusive, innovative, and wellness-focused stance which matches the clinic aim and reflects the continued changes within the healthcare system. Though the CFT program has operated under the traditional name for 18 years, it has collected feedback from students, clients, and program alumni that the current name does not feel inclusive or fitting of the its work around equity and diversity.

"To us, family therapy does not fully capture the many ways that relationships present in our clinic or exist in our community," said Tiffany Brown, lecturer and clinical director for the CFT program. "We serve many heterosexual couples, same-sex couples, open relationships, polyamorous systems, individuals, and family constellations with various presenting needs, concerns, and identities. We wanted the name on our door to feel inviting to all that seek services. The name Center for Healthy Relationships is more inclusive as we aim to support all relationship types through counseling services (not just family therapy)."

CFT program alumni have reacted positively to the approved name change:

“To me the name change is significant because it really expands the possibilities for who the clinic serves. With this change I think that the clinic is showing its commitment to enhancing relationships, which includes a greater diversity of experiences than the word 'family' might imply.” – Jennifer Donovan, class of 2015

“This name change acknowledges that relationships come in many different forms and configurations, and that all deserve access to healthy relationship counseling. Broadening the clinic name will include folks with diverse ways of identifying, and I think that's a vital step forward.” – Parisa Emam, class of 2015

"This name change sends a message to all in our community that everyone's relationships matter, precisely because the differences between all of us." – Linda Cathey, class of 2011

"The center is a bit like a teaching hospital for therapists," Brown adds. "It is staffed by upper-level graduate interns who, in turn, are supervised by licensed faculty supervisors. We value diversity, and staff are trained from a social justice and anti-oppression framework. We aim to provide sensitive, appropriate, and effective therapy that considers and values each person’s culture, ethnic background, discrimination experiences, religions and spiritual beliefs, gender identity, sexual identity, age, and socioeconomic status, as well as issues of disability or mental or physical health needs."

The CFT program will continue to offer innovative services that focus on wellness and prevention, including clinical research protocols, in the Center for Healthy Relationships. Regular collaborators in the HEDCO Clinic are the Speech-Language-Hearing Center and the Autism ABA (applied behavioral analysis) clinic.