Resources for Schools

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Programs for Early Recovery

UCLA Trauma-Grief Curriculum (2003)
Target Population: 12-to-18 year olds
Contact: Bill Saltzman, Ph.D.
Miller Children's Abuse and Violence Intervention Center

This is an 8-10 session program that is suitable for either individual or group applications in clinical or school settings. The manual provides detailed descriptions of the sessions, focusing on trauma psychoeducation, activities to enhance emotional awareness, identification of personal trauma/grief symptoms and trauma/loss reminders, development of a personal set of coping skills, and how to access different types of support. These sessions make up the first module of a comprehensive four module program that also covers more intensive interventions for moderately and severely distressed students. It has been used extensively in the U.S. and abroad.

The Trauma Center Community Services Program (2002)
Target Population: aged 8 to 15
Contact: Robert Macy, Ph.D.
The Trauma Center - Massachusetts Mental Health Institute

This is a structured program that is appropriate for group or classroom administration. It uses expressive art, music, and movement techniques to build safety and trust among group members. Extensive psychoeducation on threat and trauma is offered with a broad range of coping skills in a playful and engaging manner. This program has been widely implemented in the United States and abroad and has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing post-traumatic distress and improving functioning at school and in interpersonal relationships. The program requires approximately 10 sessions.

Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)
Target Population: 5th to 8th graders, 11- to 15-year-olds
Contact: Marleen Wong, Ph.D.
Los Angeles Unified School District Crisis Counseling and Trauma Services
Audra Langley, Ph.D.
UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety and Tic Disorders Program,
Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Schools and Communities

CBITS, a 10-session, school-based, group treatment program, has been implemented in elementary and middle schools across the country, with bilingual (Spanish, Russian, Armenian, and Korean) and multicultural urban and rural populations as well as Native American groups. CBITS is appropriate for students who have experienced a wide range of violence, such as home and community violence, trauma due to accidents and disasters, and trauma involving significant loss. The CBITS manual, with session-by-session descriptions of activities for each session, is available at Sopris West ( This program has been studied extensively and has been shown in a randomized control trial to reduce symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. An intensive two-day training and consultation is available through the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Schools and Communities.


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Programs for Intermediate Recovery

These programs provide therapeutic interventions to students and families whose psychological well-being has been effected by traumatic events and who are showing at least some signs of psychological distress that do not resolve with psychological first aid interventions. These programs are applied only to screened and clinically assessed populations. Programs of this kind utilize group, individual, and sometimes family or parent interventions, and they may be administered in school or clinical settings by trained mental health staff. They generally require weekly meetings and vary from 10 to 25 sessions in length. The content of these programs includes many of the elements contained in the prevention and resilience-enhancing programs (psychoeducation and coping skills) along with more clearly psychotherapeutic elements, such as trauma narrative reconstruction and guided exposure.

UCLA Trauma Grief Psychotherapy Program (2002)
Target Population: aged 12 to 18
Contact: Bill Saltzman, Ph.D.
Miller Children's Abuse and Violence Intervention Center

This modular program includes basic psychoeducation, coping skills, and more in-depth trauma narrative sessions. It also has a separate module for students experiencing the traumatic death of a close friend or family member. It has been manualized with detailed instructions on how to conduct each of the sessions and is applicable either to group or individual implementations. The program takes a strong developmental approach in that the goal is not just symptom reduction but helping students problem solve, re-engage with school and normal daily activities, and resume a positive developmental path. It has been implemented mostly in school settings by trained school and specialized staff, and it has been used in both American and international settings. The program has strong empirical support in studies linking participation with reduced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and complicated grief, and improved school functioning and grades. Depending on how many of the four modules are used, the program requires approximately 10 to 25 sessions.

Preventing Adverse Reactions to Negative Events and Related Stressors (PARTNERS)
Target Population: aged 6 to 10/some activities appropriate for older students
Contact: Elissa J. Brown, Ph.D.
New York University Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine

This is a group treatment program whose goal is to provide social support, normalize responses to trauma, train children in anxiety and anger management skills, and improve the caregiver-child relationship. It is ideally carried out with parallel parent/caregiver groups. The program requires 12 sessions.

Group Treatment for Adolescent Witnesses to Domestic Violence (2002)
Target Population: aged 12 to 19
Contact: David Pelcovitz, Ph.D.
Northshore Hospital, Long Island, NY

This group treatment program is intended for adolescents who have been living in households with domestic violence that has occurred within the last year. The group intervention is ideally run simultaneously with the parallel parenting group for the survivor of domestic violence. There are parallel manuals for the adolescent and parent groups that cover similar topics and include eight joint, multifamily sessions in the course of the 25-week program.


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Additional Web Sites for School Personnel

U.S. Department of Education
School Safety-Related Sites
National School-Related Organizations


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