Direct Care – Intervention
Intervention: Trauma Service
The Child Mind Institute’s group trauma treatment is an evidence-based treatment for students between the ages of 8 and 18 who have experienced a traumatic event. Our Trauma Treatment Groups in Schools (TTGS) program teaches children skills to cope with various difficulties that arise from trauma exposure and provides a supportive environment for them to talk about their experiences. There may be between 5 and 6 students in each group. Groups are led by a Child Mind Institute clinician and can be delivered in-person or via telehealth.
TTGS is to be used with groups of students who have been impacted by traumatic events and are experiencing moderate levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms. Students typically engage in 10 group sessions that focus on evidence based coping skills specific to symptoms that follow exposure to traumatic events. Treatment also includes two individual sessions where students focus on addressing their specific traumatic event. Lastly, TTGS includes ways to engage caregivers in the support of treatment gains and generalization of skills.
Who is eligible for this program?
Some signs that a child is having difficulty coping with a traumatic event include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Upsetting thoughts or images about the traumatic event suddenly come to mind
- Feeling distressed when reminded about the event
- Avoiding people, places or things that are a reminder of the event, or avoiding talking or thinking about the event
- Being disinterested in fun activities
- Having difficulty concentrating, being irritable, or seeming on edge
- Feeling anxious, sad, or seeming emotionally “numb”
- Having difficulty with school, friendships, and important activities
Please note: TTGS was designed to be delivered weekly within a class period. Students who are participating in individual treatment outside of school can participate in TTGS concurrently. TTGS is not appropriate for students currently in crisis or in need of intensive treatment.
What types of situations constitute a trauma?
Situations that constitute a trauma may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Being in an earthquake, hurricane, flood or fire
- Being in or witnessing a bad accident
- Witnessing/experiencing violence in the home or neighborhood
- Learning about the upsetting or unexpected death of a loved one
- Separation from caregivers/family, due to foster care, incarceration, deployment, or immigration
- Being physically or sexually abused
- Shelter stay
The group will be led by a clinician from the Child Mind Institute. The group meets once a week for about 3 months. In the group sessions we teach coping skills, relaxation techniques, and healthy ways of facing fears and managing stress. Additionally, each child is provided two individual sessions with the therapist to help them talk about the stressful situation they have been through. Clinicians meet with each child briefly before the first group begins and again after the last group session to make sure they have benefitted from the program.
Please follow these steps to help streamline the process to bring our trauma treatment group to your school:
- Establish a consistent and responsive point of contact to coordinate the application process, scheduling, logistics, data collection, and caregiver communication.
- Submit a partnership request form.
- Once our team confirms partnership, swiftly provide appropriate student referrals and speak with legal guardians to obtain verbal consent.
- Provide a consistent, confidential time and meeting space for weekly student groups (1 hour at a designated time each week).