Youth and Family Psychotherapy Services (YFPS)

Youth and Family Psychotherapy Services (YFPS) at William James College

The mission of Youth and Family Psychotherapy Services (YFPS) is to support the wellbeing of youth and families across a wide array of emotional, behavioral and developmental circumstances. We strive to serve our community through the delivery of exceptional culturally responsive care. Thus, our approach is both firmly rooted in evidence-based therapies and collaborative in nature. Patients play an active and critical role in personally relevant and meaningful treatment. Our appointment show rate, which stands above 80%, well above the level common in child outpatient clinics, is a testament to the connection patients feel with their therapists and the relevance of treatment goals to their specific needs.

Our services are targeted at a range of presenting concerns including: anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), behavioral concerns (e.g., noncompliance, tantrums, disruptive behaviors, social skills deficits), behavioral health issues (e.g., stress related to chronic illness, medication/treatment adherence), common developmental issues (e.g., sleep, feeding/eating, toileting), depression, individual/family adjustment to divorce, and trauma. We are also excited to offer a support group for new mothers (with babies aged 0-6 months) in collaboration with the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development.

Depending upon the nature of the presenting concern, personalized treatment will include a combination of diagnostic evaluation, psychoeducation, ongoing psychotherapy, and consultation with school and/or other providers. Children find themselves at the intersection of many overlapping systems—family, school, community. Thus, at YFPS we view the role of a therapist as one that extends beyond the confines of the therapy room—working to coordinate care and treatment goals across various settings.

We encourage you to connect with us to see if we are the right fit for you and your family.  You can email YFPS@williamjames.edu or call 617-831-1176.


What makes our program unique?

YFPS serves as a training site for advanced doctoral students at the American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited William James Internship Consortium. Doctoral student clinicians are supervised—which includes weekly meetings—by licensed clinical psychologists with extensive experience in the delivery of evidence-based treatments for youth and families.


Costs/Payments

Payment for services can be made either directly or, in limited cases, through insurance. For those making direct payments, the cost is $60 for an initial 90 minute evaluation session and $40 for all other psychotherapy sessions, usually 50 minutes in length. Please know that cost should not be an obstacle; we are happy to discuss lower fees if needed.


Our Location

YFPS is located at William James College. The address is 1 Wells Avenue, Newton, MA. The offices are on the 4th floor. To address ongoing COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, we currently deliver our services virtually via Zoom Video Communications. To utilize Zoom for video conferences, families must have a computer, tablet, or phone with a working internal or external microphone and camera. For those families without access to Zoom or for those for whom it is clinically indicated, we also offer a limited number of in-person appointments.


Our Team

YFPS is co-directed by Dr. Heather MacPherson and Dr. Emma Peterson. Dr. Julie Ryan serves as a consulting psychologist. Please see additional biographical information below.


Biographical Information

Heather MacPherson, PhD, co-director of the YFPS, is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. Dr. MacPherson completed her doctoral training at The Ohio State University. She then completed her clinical internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. She has received extensive training in a variety of evidence-based approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Parent Management Training (PMT), and the Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems (MATCH). She has served on the faculty of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. MacPherson is an Assistant Professor at William James College and core faculty member for the Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) concentration.

Emma Peterson, PhD, co-director of the YFPS, is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and their families. Dr. Peterson completed her doctoral training at the University of Denver. She continued her internship and postdoctoral training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Kennedy Krieger Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where she gained expertise in the application of evidence-based approaches to a wide range of developmental, behavioral, and emotional presentations in outpatient, medical, and community-based settings. Dr. Peterson is an Assistant Professor at William James College and core faculty member for the Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) concentration.

Julie Ryan, PhD, consulting psychologist, is a clinical psychologist specializing in evidence-based treatment for anxiety, behavioral, and mood disorders with children, adolescents and families. Dr. Ryan completed her doctoral training at the State University of New York, at Albany. She continued her training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and at New York University Medical Center, Child Study Center. She has received extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Parent Management Training (PMT). She has served on the faculty of New York University (adjunct) and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Dr. Ryan is an Associate Professor at William James College, where she serves as director of the child clinical concentration, Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR).

Paul Andrick, MA, is a fourth year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at William James College. He earned his BA in psychology from Wesleyan University. Mr. Andrick has considerable experience working with children and their families in marginalized communities across a variety of treatment settings, including in-home therapy, public schools, community mental health centers, and hospital-based outpatient settings. Mr. Andrick strives to delivery compassionate, evidence-based care that integrates family systems, attachment-based approaches, and cognitive-behavioral therapy to meet children and families’ individual needs and help them achieve their maximum level of functioning at home, school, and in the community.

Emily Berkowitz, MA, is a fifth year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at William James College. She earned her BA from Binghamton University with a concentration in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Ms. Berkowitz has substantial experience working with children and their families using evidence based treatment approaches in various settings including in-home therapy, public schools, early intervention and preschool programs, and outpatient settings. Ms. Berkowitz is passionate about integrating a systems-level and attachment-based approach when working with families to improve relationships and mental health challenges across children and families from diverse backgrounds.

April Clayton, MA, is a fifth year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at William James College. She earned her B.S. in psychology and criminology from Portland State University, followed by an M.A. in Professional Psychology at William James College. Ms. Clayton has extensive experience working with individuals who have come into contact with the criminal justice system; including providing risk assessments and individual and group psychotherapy for offenders. Additionally, Ms. Clayton has provided assessment and outpatient therapy services to individuals and families across the lifespan in a variety of community-based settings. Ms. Clayton is passionate about her commitment to serve the underserved. 


Contact Information

Email address:  YFPS@williamjames.edu
Direct Phone Number: 617-831-1176

The Youth and Family Psychotherapy Service is established under the umbrella of M. Gorman Psychological Associates at William James College.

Make a payment for Youth and Family Psychotherapy Services (YFPS)

Click on the "Pay Now" button below, enter payment amount in the next PayPal screen (Example: 20.00) and click on the "Continue" button to check out:

Note: Check out is through PayPal, however you do not need a PayPal account to make a payment. Simply select the "Pay with a Debit or Credit Card" option.

Free Virtual New Moms Support Group

Freedman Center New Moms Support Group
Youth and Family Psychotherapy Services