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Broadening Access to Therapy for Family Caregivers

For his show “In the Public Interest,” local radio host Jim Sirianni recently sat down with Cynthia McNulty of the Family Service Agency (FSA) and Mariela Marin of Antioch University to talk about the launch of a new caregiver support training program—a collaborative effort between FSA, Antioch, the Alzheimer's Association, and the Santa Barbara Foundation.

Listen to the interview here:

Marriage and Family Therapist trainees with the Family Service Agency’s Senior Services Counseling Supervisor Dayna Vainstein, right. The trainees are part of a new caregiver support effort from FSA, Antioch University, the Alzheimer's Association, and the Santa Barbara Foundation.


Through its Caregiver Initiative, the foundation provided $75,000 for the program, which aims to increase the number of local, trained family therapists who specialize in healthy aging.

“The Santa Barbara Foundation really is forward thinking in that they put out requests for proposals for collaborative efforts to serve…the community,” said Ms. McNulty, the Senior Services Program Manager for FSA. “So FSA partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association and Antioch…which involves FSA providing the clinical supervision, Antioch providing the trainees and the masters-level education, the Alzheimer’s Association providing education, and the Santa Barbara Foundation is actually funding the whole program.”

The curriculum of the "Healthy Aging in Clinical Psychology" program at Antioch will be enhanced by the addition of dementia and family-impacts programs and six Marriage and Family Therapist trainees from Antioch will be placed and supervised at the Family Service Agency.

Trainees will provide 1,560 hours of support to 77 family caregivers. As the program builds, additional partner sites will be incorporated into the family caregiver support network.
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