Our Services: Specialized Evidence-Based Treatments

The trauma team has developed nationally recognized expertise in evidence-based treatments through the Arkansas Building Effective Services for Trauma (ARBEST) program (http://arbest.uams.edu).  Evidence-based treatments have been shown in multiple research studies to be most effective in reducing child, adolescent or family problems.  These treatments are described below, along with other services we offer.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) provides education about trauma, teaches coping skills, and helps children and families develop the tools they need to heal after trauma. TF-CBT is a brief treatment that typically includes 12-16 sessions to help children ages 3-18 who are showing trauma symptoms to recovery quickly. In TF-CBT, children and parents learn new skills to manage stress and process thoughts and feelings about trauma. TF-CBT is one of the most effective treatments for children exposed to trauma and has been recognized by the federal government as an effective treatment. For more information on TF-CBT, visit the ARBEST or National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) sections on this treatment.

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an evidence-based treatment for young children ages 0-5 who have experienced traumatic events and, as a result, are experiencing behavioral, attachment, or mental health problems including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The primary goal of CPP is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her caregiver as a way to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment as well as improve e his or her development and behaviors. The main components of CPP include psychoeducation about trauma and child development, behavioral management, enhancing safety, managing feelings, enhancement of the child-parent relationship, and trauma processing. For more information on CPP, visit the NCTSN section on this treatment.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based treatment for children ages 2-7 who are having problems with defiance, aggression, non-compliance, and other disruptive behaviors. PCIT has been used with children who have experienced trauma and has been shown to reduce the likelihood that a parent who has been physically abusive in the past will be again. This treatment aims to strengthen the parent-child relationship and help parents learn effective discipline techniques to increase compliance and decrease defiance, aggression, and disruptive behavior. For more information, visit the PCIT International website.

Complex Trauma Assessments

The Complex Trauma Assessment Program, also developed in collaboration with ARBEST, is a specialty clinic within the UAMS Child Study Center that provides evidence-based assessments for children referred directly from the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The goal of the program is to deliver comprehensive psychological evaluation services to provide diagnostic clarification and treatment recommendations for high-risk youth within the child welfare system. Feedback from these evaluations is shared with foster families, DCFS personnel, attorneys ad litem, and youth to ensure that a team of trusted adults understands the results and recommendations provided by the team.