Parent-Child Trauma Recovery (PCTRP)
Type of Approach:
Provider Education Level:
Type of services:
Advocacy and safety planning combined with relational, parent child psychotherapy.
Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC) is a community-based domestic violence agency, working in collaboration with the Outpatient Mental Health departments at MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts and Lynn Community Health Center in Lynn, Massachusetts
Type of provider:
Pediatric mental health clinicians with domestic violence advocates
Length of program/number of sessions:
12 – 16 weeks
Domestic Violence agency offices and shelter in combination with two outpatient mental health departments
Type(s) of trauma/concerns addressed:
Complex trauma due to childhood exposure to domestic violence, the impact of violence on the non-offending parent and the parent child attachment, and the reduction of risk of exposure to further harm.
An application of Child- Parent Psychotherapy is employed in combination with safety planning and advocacy services, based on an empowerment model. Clinicians who are specialists working with traumatized children and domestic violence advocates are trained in the Parent Child Trauma Recovery model.
Advocates and clinicians then partner with the protective parent to develop and implement a safety plan that considers each child’s physical and psychological safety needs. The therapist guides caregiver and child toward the psychological integration of the traumatic events for greater resiliency and adaptive functioning. The advocate provides access to rights, resources and safety planning to prevent future exposure to violence. The model was designed to increase safety while addressing trauma-related symptoms to protective caregivers and their children by providing services concurrently and across disciplines.
The therapeutic skills of the psychotherapist are combined with the safety planning practices of advocates to offer families what they may need in the aftermath of domestic violence including safety and access to meaningful resources and an opportunity to repair and strengthen the attachment between children and their protective caregivers. The parent, the psychotherapist and the advocate meet throughout the course of treatment to review and assess the safety plan. After the caregiver and service providers have assessed current safety concerns, the children are invited into the therapeutic room to participate so that their fears and their needs can be incorporated into the safety plan.
Twice monthly team meetings support fidelity to the model and facilitate communication between clinicians and advocates.
The Parent Child Trauma Recovery model was cited as a “best practice program” by the Massachusetts Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, 2009
Ethnic Racial Group:
Age range of children:
Infancy to 12 years
Parent/adult caregiver(s) included in intervention:
Yes, the Parent Child Trauma Recovery Program is a relational, dyadic treatment model in which the parent and child are together in the therapeutic room, and where the relationship between caregiver and child is the ‘client.’ The parent participates in HAWC services throughout the course of treatment. The abusive partner must be living outside the home.
Ethnic/racial and other groups served:
African American, Latino, Caucasian, Asian, Middle Eastern, Native American, African clients
Persons with disabilities
Specific cultural adaptations:
The program provides training in cultural competency with respect to recent immigration. Thus far, counties of origin include : Kenya, Haiti, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Pakistan, Ukraine, Peru
Current capacity to serve English and Spanish speaking families.
The treatment model employs Psychotherapy Advocacy Combined Trauma Treatment (PACTT), a model shown to be effective in reducing PTSD symptoms in both parents and children who have been exposed to domestic violence and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) which is an evidence-based treatment (refer to the online profile for CPP).
A pilot study of PACTT was conducted to evaluate this interdisciplinary approach by measuring the impact of the intervention on mothers’ and children’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Data from twenty families that participated in the pilot study indicated a 17% reduction in trauma symptoms for children. For mothers, there was an 11% reduction in the number of trauma symptoms with a 16.5% reduction in symptom severity, indicating improved adaptive functioning. These results were sustained over a six month period, subsequent to treatment.
Pilot or evaluation studies in progress:
Data on PTSD symptoms upon entry into the Program and at 12 weeks follow-up is currently being collected for families in the Parent Child Trauma Recovery Program at Lynn Community Health Center.
No. The treatment model, its design and the research findings were presented at the Futures Without Violence’s National conferences in 2005, 2007 and 2012.
Rated/Reviewed by Evidence Based Registries:
This intervention was not rated by the registries/databases we reviewed.
Peg Tiberio, Director of Trauma Recovery, HAWC, at Pegt@hawcdv.org, 978-354-4383; Gail Arnold, MPsych, LMHC, MassGeneral for Children, NSMC, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-354-4383
Availability of Training:
Languages that training/resource is available: