The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program is a school-based, group and individual intervention. It is designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills. CBITS has been used with students from 5th grade through 12th grade who have witnessed or experienced traumatic life events such as community and school violence, accidents and injuries, physical abuse and domestic violence, and natural and human-made disasters. CBITS uses cognitive-behavioral techniques (e.g., psychoeducation, relaxation, social problem solving, cognitive restructuring, and exposure).
Category Archives: Diverse Cultures
Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools (HEARTS)
The UCSF HEARTS project is a comprehensive, multilevel school-based prevention and intervention program for children who have experienced trauma. The goal of UCSF HEARTS is to create school environments that are more trauma-sensitive and supportive of the needs of traumatized children. A main objective of this project is to work collaboratively with a School District to promote school success by decreasing trauma-related difficulties and increasing healthy functioning in students within the school district who have experienced complex trauma. Trauma-sensitive school environments will likely benefit not only traumatized children, but also those who are affected by these children, including child peers and school personnel. Founders of UCSF HEARTS: Joyce Dorado, Ph.D. Project Director, Assistant Clinical Professor, UCSF-SFUSD HEARTS, and Lynn Dolce, MFT, and Miriam Martinez, PhD.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an empirically supported treatment designed to help people manage overwhelming feelings and self-defeating behaviors. These feelings and behaviors may create major challenges in life (such as angry outbursts, violence, depression, immobility and avoidance by suicide attempts, substance abuse, and eating disorders). DBT encompasses core modules of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills training. The emphasis is on building and enhancing skills to regulate emotions, deal with the distressing situations, and improve relationships. DBT was invented by Dr. Marsha Linehan, a psychologist, who used her own insights from living successfully with Borderline Personality Disorder to develop this novel therapy. In its standard form, there are four components of DBT: skills training group, individual treatment, DBT phone coaching, and consultation team.
Trauma Center-Justice Resource Institute
DBT Fact Sheet – NAMI
Trauma Systems Therapy (TST)
TST is a comprehensive, phase-based treatment program for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events and/or who live in environments with ongoing traumatic stress. TST is designed to address the complicated needs of a trauma system, which is defined as the combination of a traumatized child/adolescent who, when exposed to trauma reminders, has difficulty regulating his/her emotions and behavior and his/her caregiver/system of care who is not able to adequately protect the youth or help him/her to manage this dysregulation. The most common setting in which TST is implemented is for youth in child welfare who can be in birth homes, foster care, residential treatment centers, community-based prevention programs, and programs for unaccompanied refugee minors. There is an emphasis on involvement of the caregiver as being essential to success. TST was developed by Dr. Saxe and Dr. Heidi Ellis at Boston University School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Boston. The materials are available in Spanish and Korean.
Trauma Empowerment and Recovery Model (TREM)
TREM and M-TREM are fully manualized group interventions for women (TREM) and men (M-TREM) who are trauma survivors. These groups are interventions that address a broad range of trauma sequelae among people with severe mental disorders and/or substance abuse problems. Both use cognitive restructuring, psychoeducation, and coping skills training, weaving each of these techniques throughout the intervention, which incorporates a specific recovery topic in each weekly 75-minute session. TREM is 29 sessions long while M-TREM comprises 24 sessions. TREM groups are for women only with female co-leaders; M-TREM groups are for men and routinely have male co-leaders. Both groups are designed for 8-10 members. TREM is organized into three major parts: empowerment, trauma education, and skill-building. Discussions cover topics of sexual, physical, emotional, and institutional abuse, and women explore and reframe the connection between abuse experiences and other current difficulties. M-TREM is similarly organized but differs in the content of the three major parts. In M-TREM, the first section focuses on emotions and relationships, helping men to develop a shared emotional vocabulary and increased capacities to address relationship dynamics. The second section is similar to that of TREM, addressing emotional, physical, and sexual abuse directly. The third part of M-TREM, like TREM, centers most directly on skill-building and problem-solving, but addresses different content issues in a different order than the TREM group.
TREM has been successfully implemented in a wide range of service settings (mental health, substance abuse, criminal justice) and among diverse racial and ethnic populations.
Specifically for women (all ages, all ethnicities) survivors of trauma for whom traditional recovery work has been unavailable or ineffective.
Trauma and Grief Component Therapy (TGCT)
Ages 10–18; impacted by community violence, traumatic bereavement, natural and human-made disasters, war/ethnic cleansing, domestic violence, witnessing interpersonal violence, medical trauma, serious accidents, physical assaults, gang violence, and terrorist events; designed to identify/effectively treat youth who are moderately to severely distressed.
Muslim, Croatian, and Serbian youths, multi-racial, multi-ethnic middle and high school students exposed to community violence and school shootings.
Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents- Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS)
SPARCS is a group intervention that was specifically designed to address the needs of chronically traumatized adolescents who may still be living with ongoing stress and may be experiencing problems in several areas of functioning. These areas include difficulties with affect regulation and impulsivity, self-perception, relationships, somatization, dissociation, numbing and avoidance, and struggles with their own purpose and meaning in life as well as worldviews that make it difficult for them to see a future for themselves. Overall goals of the program are to help teens cope more effectively in the moment, enhance self-efficacy, connect with others and establish supportive relationships, cultivate awareness, and create meaning.
Teens aged 12-19 yrs. old, various ethnicities, urban/suburban/rural settings, consistent participation in 16 1-hr sessions.
Strengthening Multi-Ethnic Families and Communities
Strengthening Multi-Ethnic Families and Communities Program is a unique integration of various prevention/intervention strategies geared toward reducing violence against self, the family, and the community. The program targets ethnic and culturally diverse parents, of children aged 3-18 years, who are interested in raising children with a commitment to leading a violence-free, healthy lifestyle.
Ethnically and culturally diverse parents of kids aged 3-18 years old, parents available to meet the extreme time commitment needed to complete program.
The Seeking Safety model, developed by Lisa M Najavits, Ph.D., at Harvard Medical/McLean Hospital, is a manualized, 25-topic, flexible integrated treatment that offers coping skills to help clients attain greater safety in their lives. It is present focused and designed to be inspiring and hopeful. Originally designed to address PTSD and substance abuse, it since has been implemented with diverse traumatized clients who may not necessarily meet criteria for these disorders. Used widely with adults, it has been implemented with adolescents (both boys and girls), and a published randomized controlled trial is available on adolescent girls.
Dual diagnosis of substance abuse and trauma/ PTSD, group and individual, male and female, outpatient and inpatient residential.
Risking Connection® teaches a relational framework and skills for working with survivors of traumatic experiences. The focus is on relationship as healing, and on self-care for service providers. It provides a comprehensive training curriculum for working with survivors of childhood abuse specially designed for staff in all mental health settings, including public systems. Risking Connection® emphasizes the concepts of empowerment and collaboration, three major goals serve as the main focus: (1) a theoretical framework to guide work with survivors of traumatic abuse, (2) specific intervention techniques to use with survivor clients, and (3) attention to the internal needs of trauma workers as well as clients. In addition, common concerns and skepticism about trauma treatment are addressed. Interspersed in this curriculum are client/clinician worksheets as well as assessment, self-reflection, group discussion, and clinical practice exercises.