Empowering Individuals So They Can Thrive

Trauma Focused Evidenced Based Mental Health is available to kids and their families. The Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center is committed to providing services of the highest quality and effectiveness.

Evidenced Based Treatments are important because these therapies have been extensively studied and repeatedly shown to be effective in reducing a specific symptom or behavior.  Family’s and referral agencies are confident that the kids are receiving the best of care.

What Mental Health Services Are Available?

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF- CBT)

TF-CBT) is designed for youth with behavioral or emotional problems related to trauma. Therapists teach coping skills to the parent and child while processing the traumatic event in a safe environment. TF-CBT has the highest evidence base rating in treating kids with PTSD symptoms. In randomized trials, TF-CBT has been directly compared and found to be more effective than routine community care (generalized counseling), nondirective supportive therapy (play therapy) and child-centered therapy. TF-CBT is appropriate for children ages 3-18 and their non-offending caregivers.

Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)

(AF-CBT) is designed to improve the relationships between children and parents/caregivers in families. It is most suitable for school-aged children (age 5-17) who exhibit some level of behavioral or emotional dysfunction, and for caregivers who may resort to uncomfortable or unsafe levels of physical coercion, harsh punishment or hostile exchanges. Two randomized trials have shown it to be superior to routine community care (generalized counseling) for reducing children’s conduct and oppositional behaviors, as well as in reducing internalizing symptoms. Further, parents who receive AF-CBT demonstrate significantly greater decreases in the use of physical discipline and in anger at post-treatment as compared to those in routine community care.

Problem Sexual Behavior Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT)

PSB-CBT) is an outpatient group treatment for school-aged children (and their parents) who have engaged in problematic sexual behaviors. Research has shown that families that participate in PSB-CBT are less likely than the general population to reoffend.   This is extremely important not only for the kids and the families that we serve but also to the community in general because of this decreased risk.  PSB-CBT is appropriate for school age kids (ages 7 – 13) and their non-offending parents.

Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

(PCIT) is an evidence-based treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral disorders that places emphasis on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship and changing parent-child interaction patterns. Children and their caregivers are seen together in PCIT. Most of the session time is spent coaching caregivers in the application of specific therapy skills. Therapists typically coach from an observation room with a one-way mirror into the playroom, using a “bug-in-the-ear” system for communicating to the parents as they play with their child. Concluding each session, therapist and caregiver together decide which skill to focus on most during daily 5-minute home practice sessions the following week.