The Harlem Family Institute's Mission Training Therapist and Helping Kids

Our Mission

The Harlem Family Institute aims to offer psychoanalytic training to aspiring analysts from diverse backgrounds, and psychoanalytic clinical services to children and adults in underserved neighborhoods.

The Institute’s clinical work is focused primarily on working with children, adolescents and their parents, though it also works with other individuals. Its offerings include mother-baby and parent-child workshops. It offers its services for free or low fee to the families served.

The Institute seeks to train a diverse population of aspiring analysts from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. At the same time, it provides clinical-training settings in schools and community centers in underserved and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in order to take psychoanalytic psychotherapy out into the community.

Few long-term psychotherapeutic and emotional-support programs exist for struggling and at-risk youth and their parents in New York’s schools, except those few for whom it is economically feasible. The intermittent counseling that troubled youth receive is usually limited to short-term crisis intervention by overextended school workers.

At the same time, aspiring psychoanalysts from underserved populations who wish to pursue training often have few affordable options, especially in community settings, where they can transform lives and be of service to their own communities.

Harlem Family’s training programs respond to these needs by offering affordable alternatives for aspiring professionals, while also providing free or low-fee, long-term psychotherapeutic support to low-income youth and their families.

The Institute also is eager to open treatment centers in other settings where it can focus more on working with struggling parents and others in economically disadvantaged communities as individual adult clients.

Though the Institute’s approach has been eclectic – open to a variety of orientations of psychoanalytic thought – it is tending, though not exclusively, toward a more relational approach, focusing on people’s relationships rather than on their drives and the defenses against them. However, its faculty includes professionals from a variety of orientations, allowing trainees to select or recommend a supervisor in line with their preferences.