Child & Family clinicians in our Anchorage and Fairbanks clinics recently completed three days of in-person training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Child & Family Director Joshua Arvidson says “TF-CBT is the most researched treatment for childhood trauma with over 20 randomized controlled trials proving its efficacy. The evidence is clear, it will help the children and families we serve get better outcomes more quickly.” TF-CBT is a structured short-term intervention model that has been shown to reduce the effects of trauma, including PTSD, anxiety and depression.

Presenters Jennifer Wilgocki, MS, LCSW and Kelly Wilson, LCSW came up from Wisconsin to teach the course. Staff learned specific techniques to use with both children and parents. In one activity, people and emotions are assigned to the numbers on a set of dice. Children are asked to talk about their experiences based on a roll of the dice. This allows the therapist to learn a lot in a short amount of time. New emotions and people can be gradually added to the activity to gently introduce difficult topics. The workshop also included a lot of concrete skills to teach parents to manage behaviors more effectively.

Beginning in January, all 18 staff who were trained will participate in monthly consultation calls as they are implementing the practice. The goal is that by the end of the year, licensed Child & Family team clinicians will become certified in TF-CBT.

This adds another evidence-based practice to our Child & Family programs. Clinicians are already trained in the ARC implementation model, Parenting with Love and Limits, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.