The Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress is an outpatient clinical program dedicated to treatment, training, and research regarding trauma related disorders in children and families.
The Center provides a range of evidence-based and promising practices to address childhood trauma. They include:
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)
- Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT),
- Alternatives for Families: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (AF-CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Yoga-based Psychotherapy
- Safety Mentoring Advocacy Recovery and Treatment (SMART)
- FamilyLive- a treatment for intergenerational family trauma
Interns receive training in assessment and treatment of children and families exposed to trauma. Following a 2-day didactic TF-CBT seminar, interns are assigned cases for treatment with TF-CBT, a central treatment model of the clinic, and interns attend a bi-weekly TF-CBT supervision group. Interns may also receive training in PCIT, family therapy, individual child and adolescent therapy, group therapy, and other treatment modalities.
Didactic and discussion-based seminars include a journal club in trauma psychology, a trauma-treatment seminar series, and a diagnostic assessment seminar.
Formal psychological testing and intake diagnostic evaluations form the assessment component of training. Referrals for psychological evaluation typically come from therapists, psychiatrists, and/or family members. The questions include requests for diagnostic clarification, the influence of cognitive factors on the child’s functioning or treatment progress, and recommendations for getting therapy “unstuck.” The intern conducts the testing and provides feedback to the clinical team, caregivers, and the child or adolescent. The test battery typically includes cognitive testing (i.e., WISC-IV, WRAML-2), adaptive functioning assessment when needed (e.g., Vineland-2), behavior checklists such as the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index, Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC-2), personality scales such as the Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory or Personality Assessment Inventory for Adolescents; and projective testing including the Rorschach Performance Assessment System, story-telling measures, incomplete sentences and drawings. It is preferred that internship applicants have previous training and familiarity with these measures.
The intern regularly performs intake evaluations to assess clients’ diagnoses and treatment needs. These diagnostic interview reports are then used to assign clients to evidence-based or other treatment modalities that are matched to the client’s presenting concerns.