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: TAY (17-24)
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 Affect Regulation Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET)
TARGET is a trauma-focused psychotherapy for the concurrent treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUDs). The program, which has been used with adolescents and adults, is designed to serve individuals suffering from PTSD and SUDs. The goal of treatment is to help patients suffering from PTSD and SUDs to regulate intense emotions and solve social problems while simultaneously maintaining sobriety.
Youth and adults with past or recent incidents of trauma.
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.
Alternatives to Seclusion and Restraint
Seclusion and restraint were once perceived as therapeutic practices in the treatment of people with mental and/or substance use disorders. Today, these methods are viewed as traumatizing practices and are only to be used as a last resort when less-restrictive measures have failed and safety is at severe risk.
For more information on alternatives to seclusion and restraint:
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- National Assoc. of State MH Program Directors
- Problem with Increasing Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools
Managing Traumatic Stress Through Art
Three art therapists have collaborated to produce this unique workbook. Designed especially for trauma survivors, Managing Traumatic Stress Through Art introduces inventive ways to understand, manage, and transform the after effects of trauma. This dynamic workbook consists of carefully structured step-by-step art projects, augmented by tear out images, and writing experiences. The book’s first section, Developing Basic Tools For Managing Stress, is devoted to establishing a safe framework for trauma resolution. The second section, Acknowledging and Regulating Your Emotions, helps the trauma survivor to make sense of overwhelming emotional experiences. The final section, Being and Functioning in the World, focuses on self and relational development, leading into the future.
No specific age/population. Can be used in individual or group therapy. The art experiences are broad enough to be of value to survivors of a wide variety of traumatic experiences, ranging from childhood abuse to accidents to disabling mental illness.