Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) Concentration

The Concentration on Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) provides exceptional training in clinical child psychology. CFAR combines broad and general training in clinical psychology with emphases on normal child development, disorders of childhood and adolescence, family dynamics, and broader systems issues that influence the well-being of children and families. Students are specially trained to help those children and families who face multiple adversities and are in severe need.

How Can a Student Participate in the CFAR Program

Two levels of involvement in CFAR are offered: Major Area of Study and Emphasis.  Students who seek to participate in CFAR as a Major Area of Study are recommended to declare their interest at the time of application to the doctoral program.  Students who seek to participate in CFAR as an Emphasis are recommended to declare their interest no later than the fall of their second year.  Advanced Standing students should declare their interest no later than the fall of their first year.

Curriculum and Field Training

CFAR students begin their doctoral study with a fundamental grounding in clinical skills, including traditional assessment and psychotherapy, combined with strategies for supporting healthy family functioning, child wellness and positive youth development. Training in these fundamentals is supported by experiential learning in a variety of field sites.  Students are offered additional supports in concentration-relevant Clinical Seminars and other classes that focus on the individual, the family, the community, and the broader society and culture.

In the later stages of training, CFAR students focus on underserved children and families who face multiple adversities, do not readily access existing systems of care, or do not benefit optimally from existing service models. These may be children coping with physical, developmental, learning or psychiatric disabilities; children who are exposed to various forms of family or community violence; children and families who face challenges arising from immigration or refugee status; families whose members are involved in child protection or the juvenile or criminal justice systems; and families facing substantial social, political or socioeconomic deprivation or disenfranchisement.  Through classes and field placements, CFAR students acquire skills to identify risk factors, promote resiliencies from a strength-based perspective, support positive youth and family development, and utilize empirically-based and emerging "best practices" strategies. Clinical skills in assessment and intervention are supplemented by professional practice skills in multi-disciplinary collaboration, consultation, advocacy, and multi-systems analysis and intervention.  CFAR maintains close linkage with other William James College specialized programs, including the Freedman Center for Family Development and the West Roxbury Educational Complex Program.

Major Area of Study
Required Coursework
CLI PY521 - Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence*
CLI LS659 - Lifespan Development*
CLI CS600 /CLI CS605 - Clinical Seminar I*: special CFAR-related section which includes focus on both broad/general and child clinical content
CLI CX520 - Child Psychotherapy (waived if student participated in 1st year CFAR-related section of CLI CS600/CLI CS605
CLI PY735 - Foundations: Adversity and Resilience in Youth and Families 
SCH MH732 - Children's Mental Health Policy and Systems 
CLI FX615 - Clinical Practice of Family and Systems Therapy
CLI CX630 - Clinical Practice of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Child and Adolescent Disorders
Three additional electives from the list below:

Recommended Coursework
CLI PM600 /CLI PM601* Projective Methods section that includes content on assessment of children and adolescents, or 
CLI PA520 - Personality Assessment sections that include child work or PA520 with adult focus plus SCH PA725 - Advanced Social-Emotional Assessment: Children and Adolescents 

Electives
CLI PY740 - Preventive Mental Health Programs for Children and Families 
CLI PY621 - Advanced Seminar: Childhood and Adolescence Clinical Practice 
CLI FX600 - Infant, Toddler, Parent Intervention 
SCH PA700 - Advanced Psychoeducational Assessment 
SCH PA725 - Advanced Social-Emotional Assessment: Children and Adolescents 
SCH PA760 - Bilingual and Culturally Competent Assessment 
SCH SN512 - Educating Children and Adolescents with Special Needs 
SCH IA776 - Preschool Services: Assessment and Intervention 
CLI TR530 - Trauma and Resilience: Family, Community, and Global Perspectives 
Others as approved by the CFAR Concentration Director

Fieldwork
Year 1 – primarily child/adolescent 
Year 2 – primarily adult 
Years 3 and 4 – no less than 50% child/adolescent/family across two years combined

Doctoral Project
The doctoral project needs to be done in an area related to the content of the CFAR concentration. Each doctoral project topic needs to be approved by the CFAR director.

Additional Requirements
All CFAR students in their first and second years are required to attend special meetings, largely didactic presentations and case presentations, scheduled once to twice per month.

All CFAR students in their third and fourth years are required to attend 10 hours of continuing education activities combined across both years, either at or outside of MSPP, that have CFAR-relevant content as determined by the Concentration Director.

* These courses are required for all MSPP Clinical students.
These courses fulfill the departmental clinical practice course requirement.
Emphasis
Required Coursework
CLI PY521 - Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence*
CLI LS659 - Lifespan Development*
CLI CX520 - Child Psychotherapy (waived if student participated in 1st year CFAR-related sections of CLI CS600 /CLI CS605
CLI PY735 - Foundations: Adversity and Resilience in Youth and Families 
CLI FX615 - Clinical Practice of Family and Systems Therapy 
CLI CX630 - Clinical Practice of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Child and Adolescent Disorders 
Two additional electives from the list below

Recommended Coursework
CLI PM600/CLI PM601* Projective Methods section that includes content on assessment of children and adolescents, or 
CLI PA520 - Personality Assessment sections that include child work or CLI PA520 with adult focus plus SCH PA725 - Advanced Social-Emotional Assessment: Children and Adolescents 

Electives
SCH MH732 - Children's Mental Health Policy and Systems 
CLI PY740 - Preventive Mental Health Programs for Children and Families 
CLI PY621 - Advanced Seminar: Childhood and Adolescence Clinical Practice 
CLI FX600 - Infant, Toddler, Parent Intervention 
SCH PA700 - Advanced Psychoeducational Assessment 
SCH PA725 - Advanced Social-Emotional Assessment: Children and Adolescents 
SCH PA760 - Bilingual and Culturally Competent Assessment 
SCH SN512 - Educating Children and Adolescents with Special Needs 
SCH IA776 - Preschool Services: Assessment and Intervention 
CLI TR530 - Trauma and Resilience: Family, Community, and Global Perspectives 
Others as approved by the CFAR Concentration Director

Fieldwork
Years 3 and 4 – no less than 50% child/adolescent/family across two years combined

Doctoral Project
The doctoral project needs to be done in an area related to the content of the CFAR concentration. Each doctoral project topic needs to be approved by the CFAR director.

Additional Requirements
All CFAR students in their first and second years are required to attend special meetings, largely didactic presentations and case presentations, scheduled once to twice per month.

All CFAR students in their third and fourth years are required to attend 10 hours of continuing education activities combined across both years, either at or outside of MSPP, that have CFAR-relevant content as determined by the Concentration Director.

* These courses are required for all MSPP Clinical students.
Faculty
Bruce Ecker, PhD
Gemima St. Louis, PhD
Kenneth J. Hopkins, PsyD
Margaret Hannah, MEd
Nadja Reilly, PhD
Robert Dingman, EdD
Robert Kinscherff, PhD, Esq.
Robin Deutsch, PhD, ABPP