Child Family Traumatic Stress Intervention
Trauma from child abuse can produce devastating effects on children, making them afraid, anxious, depressed, and unable to stop thinking about the abuse. It can also harm their ability to perform well in school and to relate well with others. Trauma can also lead to problems as children get older, unable to fully function as adults, or developing substance and alcoholic abuse issues to numb their pain.
These reasons are why the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center developed the Child Family Traumatic Stress Intervention treatment, known as CFTSI. Working in partnership with Safe Horizon’s Child Advocacy Centers for the past four years, Yale University has been able to adapt Child Family Traumatic Stress Intervention treatment with child victims and their caregivers at Safe Horizon’s Child Advocacy Centers. Through CFTSI, children are brought together with their parents or caregivers so the whole family can learn how to recognize and deal with trauma symptoms.
What makes CFTSI treatment special is its emphasis on engaging the entire family to help children heal from abuse. CFTSI counselors works with parents of children ages seven to 18, to identify their child’s trauma symptoms, learn how to discern them, and learn practical skills to help deal with trauma symptoms.
CFTSI treatment takes place over the course of just four to six sessions. This shorter treatment period helps families who may not feel ready to commit to longer-term treatments, who have multiple issues to deal with in the aftermath of abuse, or who may not need longer-term treatment.
The results from the treatment have been remarkable. When Yale initially studied the results of treatment for children and families in their pilot program on the Yale campus, they found 73% of those children were less likely than children and families undergoing other counseling methods to show some or all symptoms of trauma.
Working with families through our Child Advocacy Centers, the reductions in trauma symptoms have been quite remarkable as well – results that Dr. Carla Stover from Yale has described as “not only a statistically significant reduction, but a clinically significant one as well.” With CFTSI treatment, children, their parents and their siblings feel better, and the healing process can begin.
On April 3, 2012, Safe Horizon and Yale University hosted a forum to discuss the results from the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention treatment. Click to read the treatment white paper either in HTML or as a PDF.
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