Since 1976, Barr-Harris Children’s Grief Center has provided a safe, non-judgmental place where Chicago-area children who are facing the loss of a loved one can turn to for immediate and ongoing support, counseling, and therapy.

Our History

The Barr-Harris Children’s Grief Center was founded at The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis in 1976 when Irving Harris and George Barr contributed money to open a clinic for the treatment of bereaved children. Previously the Institute was involved in the Parent Loss Project, directed by Joan Fleming. This project resulted in many outstanding clinical and theoretical contributions to the literature on loss.

Barr-Harris, located in downtown Chicago, was an instant success and acquired an outstanding national reputation for the evaluation and treatment of bereaved children. Barr-Harris evolved from a clinical facility into a resource for community education about loss and a place for research on bereavement. As Barr-Harris grew, it became more active in community outreach and with lower-income families, expanding to other areas of Chicago and the suburbs in order to serve a wider patient population. More recently, Barr-Harris’s unique resources have also been called upon to help children who have been the victims of trauma or violence.

Barr-Harris in the News

“Unexpected loss leads to grief — and inspiration,” Chicago Tribune, 12/14/11.

“Mom can live without 5-year-old’s questions about death” Chicago Tribune, 01/26/11.