Evidence-Based Practices Descriptions

  • Brief Strategic Family Therapy is designed to for children/adolescents ages 6-18 (1) prevent, reduce, and/or treat adolescent behavior problems such as drug use, conduct problems, delinquency, sexually risky behavior, aggressive/violent behavior, and association with antisocial peers; (2) improve pro-social behaviors such as school attendance and performance; and (3) improve family functioning, including effective parental leadership and management, positive parenting, and parental involvement with the child and his or her peers and school.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It has been found to be particularly effective for treating children 7 and up with anxiety, and adults (18 and older) with depression or acute stress disorder. By exploring patterns of thinking that lead to self-destructive actions and the beliefs that direct these thoughts, people with mental illness can modify their patterns of thinking to improve coping. Combined Parent-Child Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CPC-CBT) has been shown to be an effective treatment model for children 3-17 and their parents/caregivers.
  • Child First is a national, evidence-based, two-generation model that works with very vulnerable young children (birth through age 5) and families, providing intensive, home-based services. Child First teams (1) work to connect families to needed community-based services to decrease the stress, and (2) build strong, loving, parent-child relationships that protect and heal the brain from trauma and stress. The model helps parents understand their children’s feelings and the function of their underlying behavior. In this way, parents develop the capacity to address not only challenges today, but those that arise as their children grow and develop.
  • Child-Parent Psychotherapy is an intervention for children (birth through age 5) who have experienced at least one traumatic event (e.g., maltreatment, the sudden or traumatic death of someone close, a serious accident, sexual abuse, exposure to domestic violence) and, as a result, are experiencing behavior, attachment, and/or mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for adults with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral treatment. Its main goals are to teach people how to live in the moment, cope healthily with stress, regulate emotions, and improve relationships with others. It was originally intended for people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) but has since been adapted for other conditions where the person struggles with emotional regulation or exhibits self-destructive behavior, such as disordered eating and substance misuse. It is also sometimes used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a one-on-one form of psychotherapy that is designed to reduce trauma-related stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to improve overall mental health functioning. Treatment is provided by an EMDR therapist, who first reviews the client's history and assesses the client's readiness for EMDR.
  • Family Support Network (FSN) is an outpatient substance abuse treatment program targeting youth ages 10-18 years. FSN includes a family component along with a 12-session, adolescent-focused cognitive behavioral therapy--called Motivational Enhancement Therapy / Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MET/CBT12)--and case management. The family component attempts to engage adolescents and their parents in a joint commitment to the treatment and recovery process.
  • High Fidelity Wraparound is a national, evidence-based process that provides coordinated, family-driven care to address complex emotional and behavioral needs of the youth who are involved with multiple systems (e.g. mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, special education). Services and supports, which are guided by the need of the youth and family, are developed through a Wraparound planning process consistent with System of Care philosophy and values. The planning process results in an individualized, family-driven and youth-guided flexible Wraparound plan that is community based and culturally competent. The team builds the family-specific strengths to get needs met, learn new skills, and develop skills and supports to manage crisis.
  • I Feel Better Now! Program (IFBN) is an intervention for elementary school-age children (ages 6-12) who have experienced trauma-induced symptoms related to their learning, behaviors, and social, emotional, and psychological functioning. The IFBN is designed to reduce these symptoms by providing participants with cognitive-based therapy and sensory-based activities to offset the cognitive distortions and deficits produced by traumatic events.
  • International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD) Clubhouse Model is a day treatment program for rehabilitating adults diagnosed with a mental health problem. The goal of the program is to contribute to the recovery of individuals through use of a therapeutic environment that includes responsibilities within the Clubhouse (e.g., clerical duties, reception, food service, transportation, financial services), as well as through outside employment, education, meaningful relationships, housing, and overall improved quality of life.
  • Motivational Interviewing is a goal-directed, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavioral change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. The operational assumption in MI is that ambivalent attitudes or lack of resolve is the primary obstacle to behavioral change, so that the examination and resolution of ambivalence becomes its key goal. MI has been applied to a wide range of problem behaviors related to alcohol and substance abuse as well as health promotion, medical treatment adherence, and mental health issues.
  • Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) Addresses the multidimensional nature of behavior problems in troubled youth. Treatment focuses on those factors in each youth's social network that are contributing to his or her antisocial behavior. The primary goals of MST programs are to decrease rates of antisocial behavior and other clinical problems, improve functioning (e.g., family relations, school performance), and achieve these outcomes at a cost savings by reducing the use of out-of-home placements such as incarceration, residential treatment, and hospitalization.
  • SITCAP-ART (Structured Sensory Intervention for Traumatized Children, Adolescents, and Parents-Trauma Intervention Program for Adjudicated and At-Risk Youth 13-17) is a program for traumatized adolescents 13-18 years old who are on probation for delinquent acts. These youth, who are court ordered to attend the program, are at risk for problems including dropping out of school, substance abuse, and mental health issues. SITCAP-ART is intended to reduce their symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and other mental health-related responses to traumatic experiences.
  • The Seven Challenges is designed to treat adolescents with drug and other behavioral problems. Rather than using pre-structured sessions, counselors and clients identify the most important issues at the moment and discuss these issues while the counselor seamlessly integrates a set of concepts called the seven challenges into the conversation.
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a psychosocial treatment model designed to treat posttraumatic stress and related emotional and behavioral problems in children and adolescents. Initially developed to address the psychological trauma associated with child sexual abuse, the model has been adapted for use with children who have a wide array of traumatic experiences, including domestic violence, traumatic loss, and the often multiple psychological traumas experienced by children prior to foster care placement.
  • Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is a manualized group intervention for adults with mental illness. WRAP guides participants through the process of identifying and understanding their personal wellness resources ("wellness tools") and then helps them develop an individualized plan to use these resources on a daily basis to manage their mental illness.

For more information about Evidence-Based Practices, visit SAMHSA’S National Registry of Evidence-Based Practices

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