Bouverie Families Study

The Bouverie Families Study

Understanding the outcomes for all family members who come to Bouverie for family therapy.

The Bouverie Centre provides family therapy to many families across the state and is funded by the Victorian Department of Health. The Clinical Family Therapy program offers family therapy to families in which a member has a serious mental illness, drug or alcohol problem, or has experienced complex trauma.

Bouverie is a practice-research centre of the School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University. This means we research everything we do to ensure it is helpful for families. During their involvement with Bouverie, we invite all families to join our practice-research community. One of our major goals is to learn from adults, parents, children who come to Bouverie about what their needs are, and what’s most helpful families during challenging times.

What’s the aim?

The project aims to understand:

  • Who comes to Bouverie and what types of problems they need support with in their family?
  • What are the outcomes for families who engage in family therapy with Bouverie?

What’s involved?

To participate in this study, families do not need to do anything extra. We are simply asking families for permission to use the information that they have provided as part of their therapy at Bouverie in our research. We gain each family member’s permission separately at the end of their time at Bouverie.

Families do not have to spend time giving us this information directly because it is already on file. If families agree, this information will be added to our pool of data from other families. We use this information to look at patterns across all families to help us better understand families, their experience of therapy, and how best to support families.

Who are the researchers?

Principal Investigator – Professor Jennifer McIntosh (La Trobe University)
Chief Investigators – Dr Eliza Hartley (La Trobe University); Dr Anna Booth (La Trobe University); and Dr Jessica Opie (La Trobe University)

Who funds this project?

This integrated research is conducted within the Bouverie Centre’s ongoing funded service agreement with the Department of Families Fairness and Health (DFFH).

Meet the project team

  • Professor Jennifer McIntosh – Project Director
  • Dr Eliza Hartley- Project Manager
  • Dr Anna Booth – Investigator and Research Fellow
  • Dr Jessica Opie- Investigator and Research Fellow


1. Does my family have to participate in The Bouverie Families Study?

No, being part of this study is voluntary. Not all family members have to participate either from the same family. The exception here is children aged 5-12 years who must have a parent/guardian also participate.

2. If we don’t participate, can we still access family therapy?

Yes, you can. If you decide not to participate this will not affect your relationship with La Trobe University or The Bouverie Centre.

3. What information will you use in your research?

The data we collect is:

  • General information about your family such as ages, and genders, and other information like the types of support you’ve accessed before.
  • The responses to questionnaires you completed before and after therapy.
  • Information your therapist collected during therapy (e.g., number of therapy sessions). We do not access personal information such as session notes.

4. Will my family be able to be identified in the research?

No. We look at patterns across all families. We do not look at separate information from individual families. We remove all personal details from your information (names, addresses etc.) then we will group all the information together with information from other families who have also come to Bouverie.

5. What is the follow-up study to The Bouverie Families Study?

The Bouverie Families Study will stop around the time you stop coming to therapy. If you’re interested in staying connected in the research, we have a follow-up study you can join called The Family Stories Study. This study follows your journey up to 2 years after you’ve finished therapy.

You can join just The Bouverie Families Study, or both!

6. More information

For more information, please contact us:

Contact number: +61 3 8481 4874
Ethics approval number: HEC21277