FAMILY THERAPY ASSOCIATES TEAM
At Family Therapy Associates, we have experienced Family Therapists ready to meet your psychotherapeutic needs! Our therapist will work with your children, teens, young adults, couples or the whole family.
DR. HEATHER M. EHINGER, LMFT
I have been curious about relationships from early on. I received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Denison University in the early '80s, had my family, and then pursued my profession during my 40s, graduating from Fairfield University and becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In my early 50s, I completed my education with a Doctorate in Counseling Education and Supervision. Throughout my career, I remained loyal to the subject of how we “do” relationships and how we can heal them. I am armed not only with my education but with experience from my own life as a once-wife, a proud mother of 3, and my own journey through divorce and re-partnering. I know firsthand how challenging life can be, sometimes how scary and often how frustrating.
During the last 15 years, I have counseled thousands of couples, families, and individuals in their matters of the heart. I have a passion for improving the lives of my clients and their families, always seeking new ideas and methods for improving myself as a professional and a person. My professional membership, including The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, The American Counseling Association, The International Family Therapy Association, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, provide me with a wide breadth of opportunities for learning, leading and growing for the ultimate purpose of improving your outcomes.
My passion for professional self-improvement has propelled me towards leadership in my field. I am an AAMFT-approved supervisor, providing me the opportunity to not only treat clients but teach others coming up behind me. I have participated in my professional organization through leadership roles including my term as President of the Connecticut Division of AAMFT. I have periodically been an adjunct professor at a local university.
My latest projects include creating The MacLetchie Institute for training which provides supervision and educational opportunities for advanced clinical training of systemically minded professionals. My upcoming book about relationships and divorce, Grounds for Divorce, A Wake-up Call, came about as a result of hearing countless stories of marriage and witnessing profound family trauma around divorce. I live in Westport Connecticut with my partner and co-conspirator, Jim Cosby. Together we work, travel far and wide visiting our 7 children and promoting better connections as one means to bring more joy to the world.
FRANK OLIVEIRA, LMFT
Frank is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Connecticut and New Jersey. He received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University and in Counseling and Human Resource Development from the University of Bridgeport. Frank has a special interest in the well-being of people. He spent many years in the corporate world as an executive in Human Resources. Eventually, he pursued education and training in the counseling and marriage and family therapy field. With this background and also having been married and divorced, Frank has a strong desire to work with people to help them realize positive relationships with themselves and others. Frank specializes in personal growth and relational therapy. He is particularly known for his compassion, connecting with people, and guiding them toward understanding the issues they bring to therapy in the context of relationships with “self” and others. He helps clients connect with their inner strengths, offering hope for healing, growth, and fulfillment of life purpose. He is solution-focused and goal-oriented. He utilizes therapy models and approaches that respect the inherent qualities, capabilities, and positive attributes of each human being. He believes therapy should be a safe process, respectful and non-judgmental, yet challenging enough to move clients in the direction they desire. Frank works primarily with adults: relationships, divorce, anxiety, depression, grief, and spiritual growth. Frank is also very interested in working with clients who desire life or business/organizational coaching. In addition, he has a special interest in working with the dying to help them transition positively and with their loved ones, who are being impacted.
ELIZABETH HUTCHINS, LMFTA
Elizabeth is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate and works with individuals, couples, and adolescents. She received her Master's in Education from the University of St. Thomas and her Master's in Marriage in Family Therapy from Fairfield University. Elizabeth has always been passionate about education, personal growth, and the psychology of relationships. As a former school teacher, outdoor expedition leader, certified yoga and meditation instructor, and parent of three children, she has extensive experience working with individuals and families.
Elizabeth works to help clients uncover personal strengths, unique wisdom, and solutions that work for them. She approaches therapy by providing a compassionate, non-judgmental space where clients are safe to explore their challenges. Using Narrative, Structural and Extended Family models of family systems therapy, Elizabeth works collaboratively with clients to increase awareness of patterns in relationships and empower them to make positive changes in their lives.
“I believe in the importance of prioritizing emotional and mental health in life and relationships. When you give yourself and your family this gift, you will discover that life will not go “back to normal”. Instead, you will propel yourself into a new way of looking at things, in which the problem you are facing becomes a building block, an asset rather than a burden, and a piece of the puzzle in the wiser version of yourself that you are becoming.”
Elizabeth is experienced in working with individuals and families dealing with issues of anxiety & depression, marriage & parenting, fertility & genetic genealogy, chronic illness & cancer, and eating disorders & body image. Elizabeth is LGBTQ affirmative and works from a foundation of social justice and equality.
COURTNEY BOUCHER, LMFTA
Courtney believes your journey is just as important as your destination and will empower you to work within your authentic self to attain your goals. She will listen to your story, working with you where you are. She will allow you the freedom to find knowledge and insight in the spaces between what you want, how you will get there, and who you want to be once your goals are achieved.
Through her inquisitive, gentle nature, Courtney will guide you towards understanding and verbalizing your needs and goals for therapy. Whatever you are currently struggling with, Courtney’s empathic curiosity will provide you with a safe space to work through your thought process in non-pathologizing, strength-based and creative ways.
Courtney utilizes play therapy techniques, creative interventions, narrative approaches, and solution-focused thinking. She creates collaborative, customized plans to help facilitate positive changes and realize opportunities for growth.
Courtney believes in continually learning new skills, staying current with the latest evidence-based practices, and exploring more of her interests while gaining experience through her clinical work. She is currently pursuing her Registered Play Therapist Certification while working toward the requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Connecticut. In her free time, Courtney enjoys reading supernatural fiction, writing poetry, diamond painting, and spending time outside hiking and playing with her family.
MICHELLE MECCA, LMFT
Michelle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She earned her Masters' degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University. Michelle is also a Certified Yoga and Meditation Instructor. Michelle’s education and professional background in both mind and the body give her a unique and effective approach to therapy. Michelle’s therapeutic approach is holistic and systemic, meaning she recognizes you not only as a unique individual but also as someone who exists in relationship to others and the environment around you. Through a supportive and collaborative process, Michelle guides her clients in sorting out current difficulties and empowers them to discover their personal strengths and abilities in order to make changes in their lives.
From a place of compassion, Michelle’s down-to-earth and nonjudgmental demeanor provides a warm, supportive environment for her clients to recognize their authentic self and access their full potential. In therapy, Michelle uses a variety of treatment modalities including; Structural, Narrative, Solution-Focused models of family system therapy, and encourages her clients to focus on the importance of mind/body connection.
Michelle is experienced working with clients in crisis struggling with addiction, co-occurring disorders, anxiety, depression, mood instability, grief, trauma, and loss. She has facilitated specialty groups on a wide range of topics including, self-esteem, anxiety and depression, addiction, trauma, coping with change, and mindfulness/meditation.
Michelle is passionate about supporting individuals, couples, adolescents, and families through life’s challenges. She is LGBTQ and minority affirmative and works from a foundation of social justice and equality.