Families Illness Collaborative Healthcare (FICH) Program

Fellows 2014

Former Fellows Laura Lynch, Miriam Klevan and Dusty Aguillera with Dr. John Rolland

Matt Martin, Jeehee Sung, Sarah Dillard 2012-2013 Doctoral Fellows and Administrative Coordinator

Former Fellows Matt Martin and Jeehee Sung, with Administrative Coordinator, Sarah Dillard

CCFH’s internationally recognized Families, Illness & Collaborative Healthcare (FICH) Program offers workshops and brief training opportunities for health and mental healthcare professionals who work with couples and families dealing with serious illness, disability and loss.

Traditionally, professional services to assist people with illness and disability have been limited by a narrow focus on the individual, on the terminal phase of progressive diseases, and on family deficits or “dysfunction.” To transform the culture and experience of illness, disability, and loss, the CCFH model is based on:

  • A family systems orientation with focus on couple and family relationships
  • A developmental perspective on illness, disability, and families
  • A normative view that promotes family resilience
  • A collaborative approach including patients, family, and health care providers

Our approach depathologizes painful and disruptive experiences and builds on family strengths and resources, empowering healthy functioning and the wellbeing of all members. The Center’s resilience approach helps families with major health conditions seize opportunities to repair troubled relationships, and to live and love well in the face of physical limitations and threatened loss. The program teaches a collaborative approach that includes as equal partners: the biomedical and psychosocial providers, patients, their families, and other caregivers. Caring for families in a way that focuses on prevention and maximizes their own resources is ultimately more successful and cost effective.

Families, Illness, and Collaborative Healthcare Program goals:

  • To develop and provide access to services that help families recognize their strengths, be aware of normal challenges and changes, remain hopeful, and heal.
  • To train professionals in a family-oriented, strength-based model of working with families facing chronic illness, disability, terminal illness and loss.
  • To train leadership within service delivery systems to affect changes in their institutions to address the needs of families.

Doctoral Fellowships in Families, Illness, and Collaborative Healthcare

CCFH offers fellowships for  post-doctoral mental health professionals and Ph.D. candidates. The programs is ideal for candidates in marriage and family therapy doctoral programs seeking to satisfy their internship requirement. Applicants should have a strong career development interest in advancing family systems approaches in healthcare. The clinical experience emphasizes work with chronic or life-threatening illness, disability, and loss using family, couples, group/multi-family group and individual modalities.

Our Center provides clinical experience and supervision in placements at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center Department of Family Practice. Responsibilities include: consultation and counseling with patients and family, participation in multidisciplinary teaching conferences, teaching residents and medical students about the integration of family systems approaches in varied healthcare settings, and collaboration with healthcare providers. Fellows can develop or join ongoing clinical research projects related to families and healthcare.

To apply visit our FICH Doctoral Fellowship 2022-2023 page for additional information.

Colleagues at Advocate Illinois Masonic Family Medicine in Ravenswood

Steve Zuckerman, PhD and Colleagues at Advocate Illinois Masonic Family Medicine

Jeehee Sung and Dr. John Rolland

Jeehee Sung and Dr. John Rolland

Additional Training Opportunities

Clinical Supervision

Individual and group supervision are offered for professionals working in healthcare, social service, or private practice settings with families facing serious illness, disability, and loss. Participants discuss their cases with expert CCFH faculty and benefit from group feedback. The format includes case presentation, review of videotaped sessions, role-play, and observation of live interviews. See Supervision Groups for additional information.

Brief Intensive Training Opportunities

Upon request for small groups, CCFH offers an intensive 3-day Institute. This program attracts professionals nationwide and internationally who learn a family-based, collaborative clinical approach to help families meet the challenges of chronic and life-threatening health problems. The format is ideally suited for professionals seeking valuable knowledge and skills in a concentrated period of time away from work commitments. Requests should be emailed to: ccfh.admin@ccfhchicago.org

Community Consultation Services

CCFH provides in-service training and engages in collaborative projects with community-based health, mental health and social service organizations. We provide the staff with effective methods for fostering healthy family functioning in the face of chronic medical conditions. The ultimate goal is to promote systemic change, incorporating family-oriented practices in program planning and implementation. CCFH has provided consultation services for a variety of organizations in Chicago including: Children’s Memorial Hospital, Illinois Masonic Hospital, Kovler Diabetes Center at Pritzker Medical Center, University of Chicago, Gilda’s Club Chicago, M.S. Society of Illinois, and NorthShore University HealthSystem. For additional information, see Community Programs.

Counseling Services: Illness, Disability, End of Life Challenges & Loss

Expert counseling services are available for individuals, couples and families coping with the challenges of chronic medical conditions, disability, terminal illness, and bereavement. For more information, please see Counseling & Therapy.