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A curated collection of Books, Videos, Articles and more to educate consumers, caregivers and professionals about Complex Trauma.

Interventions for Youth

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    Complex Trauma Interventions for Youth


    Integrated Treatment of Complex Trauma for Children (ITCT-C) and Adolescents (ITCT-A)

    Are you interested in addressing the core components of complex trauma intervention through a treatment approach that is individually tailored to your child’s specific challenges and needs, and driven by systematic and ongoing tracking and measurement of outcomes?

    What sets this intervention apart:

    ITCT is an individualized and client-centered approach to treatment guided by frequent assessment and clinician sensitivity, creativity, and therapeutic interpretation.

    Rather than having a pre-established session protocol or focus, the therapist continuously adapts treatment to meet the specific needs and characteristics of the individual person impacted by complex trauma.

    As a multi-modal approach, specific intervention techniques utilized are drawn from various therapeutic models to best target client patterns, strengths, and needs identified through ongoing assessment.

    Due to its highly flexible structure, ITCT has been successful used to support culturally diverse children and adolescents impacted by multidimensional stressors including:

    • immigration,
    • unsafe communities,
    • racial discrimination, and
    • poverty.

    young girl who looks troubled

    Population served:

    ITCT-C was developed for children five to 12 years old while ITCT-A serves and adolescents and young adults, 12 to 21 years old. ITCT is an individual treatment approach. Due to its individualized nature and complex trauma focus, treatment length can vary but typically averages six to eight months.

    Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS)

    Do you want to start taking control of your future and overcome your current challenges with the support of your peers and without engaging in treatment focused solely on what your caretakers think is wrong with you?

    What sets this intervention apart:

    young boy's face with tearsSPARCS is a time-limited treatment model that highlights the inherent strength of adolescents who continue to survive and adapt within stressful environments. “Sparking” hope, youth are empowered to find the strength and wisdom in their current approach to life. They choose change rather than allowing painful past experiences or other involved individuals to make the choice for them.

    SPARCS emphasizes the teaching of several multi-step coping techniques through the use of memorable acronyms including:

    • “SOS,”
    • “MUPS,” and
    • “Let‘M Go.”

    SPARCS uses these and other techniques to help youth:

    • mindfully explore choices,
    • interrupt reactive and trauma-driven impulsive thoughts and actions,
    • connect emotions and bodily experiences, and
    • reassess which of their current coping techniques “mess you up” and which are helpful in achieving their goals.

    Tailored to the clients and communities it serves, SPARCS allows group members to address meaningful problems and naturally practice skills even when still residing within dangerous or stressful environments.

    Population served:

    SPARCS is a 16-session, manualized group therapy protocol targeting adolescents and young adults 12 to 21 years old.

    SPARCS is usually facilitated in:

    • schools,
    • social service organizations,
    • outpatient treatment centers, or
    • residential treatment facilities.

    A six-session version, SPARCS-ST has been piloted and is currently being adapted for homeless, runaway and throwaway youth in shelter, emergency and drop-in settings (SPARCS-On-The-Run).

    Please visit the resources section of this website for downloadable articles and other resources on complex trauma, as well as links to booksvideos and webinars. For inquiries about the topics and resources included in this website, or to correspond with its developers, contact: