Family Institute of Westchester (FIW) is a postgraduate family therapy training institution for mental health professionals.
FIW was organized in 1977 by a group of family therapists and was granted an Absolute Charter by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1981. We continue to maintain our Charter.
The original faculty was headed by internationally renowned therapist and author Betty Carter, LCSW, who served as Director of FIW until her retirement in 1997. She was succeeded by Elliott J. Rosen, Ed. D., L.M.F.T., who retired as director in 2009. Elliott remains on faculty at FIW. Pat Colucci-Coritt, Ph.D., L.M.F.T., is currently the Director of Family Institute of Westchester and has been with the organization since 1985.
Our model, the Multi-Contextual Model of family therapy, has its origins in the work of Murray Bowen. Betty Carter elaborated this view of the family as an emotional system across generations with her work on the Stages of the Family Life Cycle. The contextual model supports the view that the family is a reflection not only of its own three-generational experience, but is also deeply influenced by the larger world in which the family lives. Emphasis, therefore, is placed upon the social factors of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and the economic and political climate.
Our belief is that the family is the most accessible and most responsive unit for therapeutic care. The Multi-Contextual Model of family therapy is applicable for treating any constellation of the family system and is used with individuals through an intervention called coaching.
Family Institute of Westchester had devoted itself to the training of new generations of family therapists. In addition to our core clinical track, we have supported special programs in cross-cultural therapy, working with gay and lesbian families, with Orthodox Jewish Families and with families facing life-threatening illness. We have presented conferences on many topics including gender and power in couples, families and resilience, families facing death and most recently, the impact of the economy on families.
In addition to our core clinical programs, Family Institute of Westchester designs programs that meet the needs of individual clinicians and of agencies. Family Institute of Westchester is well known for its high level of therapy supervision and its challenging didactics, as well as for its warmth and support of each and every trainee.