GSEAP Unveils Plan for New Family Counseling Center

Submitted by Meredith Guinness, Assistant Director, Media Relations on May 10, 2010

GSEAP Board Meeting ReceptionThe Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Department is on the move: This spring, its clinical facility relocated to the new Kathryn P. Koslow Family Counseling Center in Southwell Hall right next to the Early Learning Center near the Round Hill Road gate.

Koslow ’05, a current MFT student and member of the new GSEAP Advisory Board, generously supported the renovation of the building with a $500,000 pledge and has launched a $125,000 five-year challenge grant in support of the program’s work on an annual basis. She will match up to $25,000 in donations each year for the next five years, providing funds to support students, enhance the curriculum, and expand clinical programming.

“Our faculty and students are so grateful to Kathy Koslow,” said Dean Susan Franzosa. “GSEAP’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program has grown in stature since its founding in 1985 and is regarded as one of the finest in Connecticut. Now, with Kathy’s generous support, it will be able to reach more students, help us expand our collaborative research efforts, and serve a greater number of families in need.”

Strong Clinical Training

The new Center is a state-of-the-art facility that augments the program’s strong clinical training component by providing a professional space for students to gain clinical experience on site. Clinical training is a major part of the MFT program, which prepares graduate students to be eligible for licensure. Prior to graduation, students must complete 500 hours of direct clinical services to clients, 250 of which must be with couples and families. They must also receive 100 hours of supervision by licensed marriage and family therapists.

“Students did the bulk of their clinical training at off-campus sites,” said Dr. Rona Preli, chair of the MFT Department, which partners with 50 off-site locations. “The new Family Counseling Center at Southwell Hall is a tremendous improvement over the former on-campus clinical training facility, located in the lower level of Canisius and only open two nights a week. It will enable us to expand our hours of service and offer more on-campus clinical experiences to our students ­ all within a center with state-of-the-art technology and up-to-date classrooms.”

The Facility

The new site features:

  • 5 observation rooms, complete with digital taping capability
  • A seminar room for teaching, workshops, and advanced seminars
  • Work space for preparation
  • The capability to have teams of students work together on clinical cases and multiple clinical cases observed simultaneously

The new space also supports the program’s and the University’s Jesuit mission: It will be open full time, and will continue its sliding scale fee structure to help underserved populations. GSEAP plans to expand its community partnerships with hospitals, agencies, mental health facilities, addiction treatment centers, and schools, as well as to pursue grants to fund faculty and student research projects. “We hope to provide expanded services to the public, particularly those clients who cannot afford to go elsewhere,” Dr. Preli said.

The Koslow Challenge Grant

Dean Franzosa encouraged all alumni and friends of GSEAP to take advantage of this special moment in the MFT Department’s 25-year history to support the Center and current students with a pledge or outright gift to Fairfield University. With your help, the Koslow Challenge Grant will enhance curriculum and expand services to families across the community. To contribute to the Koslow Challenge Grant or to make a pledge or gift in support of the program, contact Jessica Colligan ’03, Manager, Constituent Relations, at jcolligan@fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000, ext. 3473, or give online.

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