Goldberg Couple and Family Therapy Center continues to provide CNY Community with accessible, affordable therapy
Goldberg Couple and Family Therapy Center continues to provide CNY Community with accessible, affordable therapyMarch 03, 2003Nicci Brownnicbrown@syr.edu
One of the best-kept secrets in Syracuse can be found right on the SU campus. For about 20 years SU’s Marriage and Family Therapy program has provided therapy for people from not just the campus community, but also the greater Syracuse area. These services are now offered at the College of Human Services and Health Professions’ Goldberg Couple and Family Therapy Center located on the ground floor of Slocum Hall.
A vital part of the mission of the Goldberg Center is to serve the diverse Central New York community with accessible and affordable therapy. But, despite its many “success stories,” many people remain unaware of the services the Center provides.
Center director Anne Gosling wants to see that change. “It’s clear that taking the time and space to reflect on one’s life and relationships is something that’s needed by everyone at some point in their lives,” Gosling says. “We’ve moved beyond the concept that therapy is for people who are crazy or have failed in life. No one should be barred from taking the opportunity to improve his or her life, and the Center offers an accessible way to do that.”
The therapists at the Goldberg Center are graduate students in marriage and family therapy, who are closely supervised by faculty experts in the field. Through their partnership, the faculty and students have crafted a training program which is nationally known for its’ pioneering work in the areas of diversity and therapist training. Since its dedication ceremony in 1990, the center has gradually expanded to a state-of-the-art training and research facility that is fully computerized. The seven therapy rooms are equipped with video cameras and one-way mirrors for supervision purposes. The facilities also include a play therapy room, filled with toys and decorated with hand painted murals, especially designed to make therapy inviting to children. “Play is the ‘work’ of children,” says Gosling. “Through the creative process of play, children are able to encounter and work through issues that they may have no words to describe.”
A grant from the Central New York Community Foundation has also enabled the Goldberg Center to purchase the special equipment necessary for sand tray therapy. Sand play is a therapeutic technique in which the client creates a three-dimensional picture in a tray of sand. The pictures often incorporate miniatures that are selected from an orderly arrangement on shelves near the tray. When the client is finished with their work, the therapist assists them to recount their experience, thus allowing for the externalization of the client’s inner world. It is a therapy that’s intrinsically pleasurable and powerful for adults as well as children. “The description of a sand tray as a soul garden is my favorite way of capturing the beauty and sacredness of the process,” Gosling says. “Sand trays enable the client to reach below the frenzy of everyday life to the core of themselves and what is going on for them”.
Because the Goldberg Center is a family therapy training facility, it has a number of unique aspects to offer. Firstly, the orientation of the therapy is on healing relationships-with self and others. Therefore the therapy is available for individuals (both adults and children), as well as couples, and families. Secondly, the focus of the SU Marriage and Family Therapy training is on diversity issues, so the Center welcomes people of all backgrounds, religions, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and identities. Furthermore, a critical benefit of services at the Goldberg Center is the affordable price. Gosling says this is particularly important for people who may not have access to health care coverage or may be experiencing financial hardships. Finally, the therapists train in the most current therapy ideas. “The training we provide is intensive and high quality, and the students are engaged in ongoing supervision each week,” Gosling says. “For this reason many of the therapists tend to be especially enthusiastic and motivated to provide excellent services for their clients. For example, the addition of the sand tray was in a large part due to the leadership of one of our Ph.D. students, Heather Hay”.
Day and the evening appointments are available at the Goldberg Center. For more information call 443-3023.