KINGSTON, R.I. — May 18, 2020 — The University of Rhode Island Couple and Family Therapy Clinic, part of the College of Health Sciences, is offering special support for parents, children, adolescents, couples and individuals facing the challenges of adjusting to the demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The clinic’s “Keeping It Together” program is offering telehealth video or phone meetings with advanced masters-level students skilled in family and couple conflict resolution, communication skills, parenting techniques and coping strategies. Two meetings are being offered free of charge, with follow-up phone check-ins for anyone who requests them. Clients can transition to more traditional therapeutic services as needed.
“Sometimes it just takes talking with someone who can listen and offer new perspectives and suggestions to help keep it together,” said Jaqueline Sparks, coordinator of the program. “We are here to support you in this process.”
Increasing stress levels during the pandemic can put added stress on family relationships, increasing the need to get a professional’s perspective and advice. Added stressors can include diminishment of social activities, decreased space and boundaries for at-home couples and families, increased parental demands related to home schooling, anxiety about finances and family members’ health, and increased conflict among couples and families, among others.
“For many people, in a time like a pandemic, the need for services is greatest,” said Gina MacClure, coordinator of the Couple and Family Therapy Clinic. “Stresses are compounded by the current situation. With everyone being home and not having access to an outside social structure, there can be a lot more chaos. Parenting has a completely different dynamic with no child care and parents being asked to homeschool children. It is much harder to get a break from family members when you are quarantining, and families often end up taking out their stress on one another. Keeping It Together hopes to support families to achieve a little more stability by helping them create an individualized plan where each family member’s needs are met.”
Couples, individuals or families looking for that support in these trying times can contact the Couple and Family Therapy Clinic at 401-874-5956 or visit the website at uri.edu/cftclinic.
All services are supervised by the URI Couple and Family Therapy Program faculty members who are licensed marriage and family therapists and supervisors approved by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The URI Couple and Family Therapy Program is the only one in Rhode Island accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.