At Carson Valley Children's Aid, we work to support the whole child. This requires our team to consider a child's behavior in light of past experiences, including how trauma (either as specific incidences or a complexity of experience) has impacted the child's ability to regulate emotions and control behaviors. At CVCA we provide an environment of physical and emotional safety in order to look past a child's behaviors and address the root causes of the behaviors. We educate children and families in how trauma is connected to behavioral problems, we support children in working through past experiences to gain emotional control, and we teach children skills in emotional and behavioral regulation.
At CVCA we are aware that providing trauma informed care is a practice that requires ongoing re-evaluation of the ways that professionals interact with children as well as one another, and the treatment modalities we use with the children in our care. CVCA participates in the Montgomery County Trauma Informed Care Learning Collaborative in order to maintain our level of excellence as a trauma informed care provider.
CVCA's clinicians utilize evidence based treatments to specifically address issues of trauma: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Both TF-CBT and DBT are clinically tested treatments proven to help adolescents who have experienced trauma and have significant behavioral problems.
DBT teaches skills necessary to regulate emotions, control self-destructive behaviors and improve interpersonal relationships. DBT helps kids manage emotions as they work through past traumas, allowing kids to be in control of their behaviors and emotions. Currently, CVCA offers full individual and group DBT treatment to children within the Flourtown Residential Treatment Facility. Children residing in the Flourtown DHS residential program also receive DBT skills through school-based psycho-educational groups.
TF-CBT is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events. Children and parents learn new skills to help process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events; manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behavior related traumatic life events; and enhance safety, growth, parenting skills, and family communication.
In 2012, Carson Valley Children's Aid was awarded a grant from Community Behavioral Health (CBH) to work with the creators of DBT from the University of Washington, including Dr. Marsha Linehan. In 2010-2012 all clinicians in the Flourtown residential treatment facility received training, certification, and supervision in TF-CBT with Dr. Judith Cohen and Dr. Anthony Mannarino.