What is CFTSI?
Children and teens impacted by trauma often experience symptoms such as fearfulness, anxiety, frustration in school, sleep problems, and challenges with relationships. Sometimes children keep these symptoms hidden, even from their trusted and supportive caregivers.
Developed by the Yale Child Study Center, CFTSI is a brief (5-8 sessions), evidence-based treatment for children and their caregivers to help families better understand their reactions to what has happened, reduce the child’s trauma symptoms, and enhance caregiver support.
How does CFTSI help?
CFTSI treatment can help children and their families:
- Reduce stressful symptoms related to the upsetting experience;
- Strengthen communication between the caregiver and child to improve emotional support;
- Learn and practice skills to help reduce trauma reactions;
- Address practical needs such as safety planning and access to needed resources;
- Work with the clinician to determine whether additional long-term support is needed.
The Need for CFTSI
When a child or teen has a traumatic experience, prompt intervention is beneficial. Often, caregivers are not aware that specialized mental health services are available, or how to access these services. Frequently, families face months-long waiting lists.
The CAC is pleased to provide CFTSI to fill a gap in the type of services available in the community and to provide short-term, effective assistance immediately after exposure to abuse and violence.
CFTSI Q & A
Who can benefit from CFTSI?
Children and teens, ages 7-18, who have recently experienced a traumatic event, including sexual/physical abuse and/or family/community violence can benefit from CFTSI.
My son just told me about being sexually abused. I think he is relieved that he told and seems fine. Does he really need counseling?
Not all children who are abused show obvious symptoms. One benefit of CFTSI is that it begins with a trauma screening. You and your child will each complete a short questionnaire that helps us identify trauma symptoms and informs whether CFTSI or other counseling services are recommended.
Won’t talking about the abuse just make my child more upset? We just want to move on with our lives.
In CFTSI, the sessions focus on reactions and symptoms that you and your child are noticing - rather than on the details of the abuse or traumatic event. While the passage of time may help a child heal, sometimes, when not addressed, troubling feelings and symptoms may grow deeper over time. CFTSI helps children learn to process these feelings and cope.
Do I have to participate in every session? Wouldn’t it be better for my child to talk to a counselor in private?
Research has taught us that support from a trusted caregiver is essential to a child’s recovery. CFTSI helps to strengthen communication about the trauma between you and your child by meeting together with the clinician. When needed, the CFTSI clinician can also meet with you and your child separately.
100% of caregivers completing CFTSI felt better able to assist their child.
“Great experience that helped the healing process. Thank you for everything.”
100% of families completing CFTSI would recommend the CAC
“Thank you for helping these past few weeks, thanks for helping me and my mom step by step”