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.
The Safety, Mentoring, Advocacy, Recovery, and Treatment (SMART) model developed by a team of clinicians at the Kennedy Krieger Institute Family Center is a structured, phase-based, abuse-focused, treatment approach to address the emotional and behavioral needs of young children with a history of sexual abuse exhibiting problematic sexual behavior (PSB). A major premise of the model is that the PSB stems from emotional responses to the prior child sexual abuse causing the child to form cognitive distortions about themselves, others, and the world around them. A unique feature of the model is the formation of parallel narratives of the child’s experiences as a victim and as one who victimizes others. Children are supported to examine their roles and perceptions associated with each of these experiences. Clinicians guide children and their families through this process and provide the context for comparison leading to the integration of these experiences into a single narrative. The SMART model consists of three clinically essential phases: Safety and Stabilization, Triggers/Integration, and Re-Socialization. The SMART model utilizes individual, family, and group therapy simultaneously.
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.
Real Life Heroes was especially designed for children in child and family service programs who frequently lack safe, nurturing homes and secure relationships with caring and committed adults. The model can be used by programs and agencies as a prescriptive methodology to address primary goals including preventing placements, reuniting families, or finding alternate permanent homes for children who cannot return to biological parents.
Real Life Heroes (RLH) is based on cognitive behavioral therapy models for treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in school-aged youth. Designed for use in child and family agencies, RLH can be used to treat attachment, loss, and trauma issues resulting from family violence, disasters, severe and chronic neglect, physical and sexual abuse, repeated traumas, and post traumatic developmental disorder. RLH focuses on rebuilding attachments, building the skills and interpersonal resources needed to reintegrate painful memories, fostering healing, and restoring hope. These goals are accomplished using nonverbal creative arts, narrative interventions, and gradual exposure to help children process their traumatic memories and bolster their adaptive coping strategies.
The treatment is designed for male and female adolescents aged 13-17 but has also been implemented with younger children. The pilot data were collected in a Philadelphia urban rape crisis center specializing in the treatment of adults and children who have been sexually assaulted, and in a hospital based clinic in Israel where patients experienced a variety of traumatic events including sexual assault and abuse, motor vehicle accidents, and terror attacks. Clients were predominantly African American and White in the American sample, and White in the Israeli sample. The manual is in English and has been translated into Hebrew.
PCIT is effective with single parents, cognitively limited parents, court-ordered parents, two-parent families, and foster parents. Cultural adaptations have been effective with Latino/Hispanic families, African American Families, and Native American families. PCIT has been disseminated internationally (e.g. Hong Kong, Norway, The Netherlands) and has been translated into different languages (e.g. Spanish and Mandarin). PCIT has been adapted for: Head Start classrooms;Group treatment; Home rather than office based sessions; Domestic violence shelters; Residential treatment centers.
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:
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.
Life Skills/Life Story (10 sessions) was specifically developed to meet the needs of adolescent girls who have experienced childhood abuse and other traumas such as domestic violence and community violence. The program is comprised of two modules.The first module focuses on developing positive goals, the skills to meet the goals and sense of self-efficacy. The second module is a titrated discussion and analysis of the traumatic events that have occurred.
Adolescent girls (ages 12- 21) who have experienced childhood abuse and other traumas such as domestic violence and community violence. Has been used in residential school settings, inner city public schools, and clinic settings.
International Family, Adult, and Child Enhancement Services (FACES) provides comprehensive, community-based mental health services for refugee, asylee and asylum-seeking children, adults, and families suffering from trauma or emotional disorders. Services include individual and family counseling, assistance accessing benefits and entitlements, expressive therapies, linkages to primary and dental health care, and case management. International FACES staff respect each culture’s definition of family roles and recognize the importance of working with and strengthening the family structure. Services are offered in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner, often conducted by staff from the same culture as the family or with trained interpreters. Outreach and engagement strategies help educate participants about the value of mental health services, as well as providing linkages to other specialized services.