Trauma Systems Therapy (TST)

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Scientific Rating:
NR
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
High
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) has been reviewed by the CEBC in the areas of: Trauma Treatment - Client-Level Interventions (Child & Adolescent) and Trauma Treatment - System-Level Programs (Child & Adolescent), but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

Target Population: The combination of a traumatized child/adolescent who, when exposed to trauma reminders, has difficulty regulating their emotions and behavior and their caregiver/system of care who is not able to adequately protect the youth or help them to manage these survival in the moment states

For children/adolescents ages: 4 – 21

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 4 – 21

Brief Description

Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) is a comprehensive, phase-based treatment program for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events and/or who live in environments with ongoing stress and/or traumatic reminders. TST is designed to address the complicated needs of a trauma system, which is defined as the combination of a traumatized child/adolescent who, when exposed to trauma reminders, has difficulty regulating his/her emotions and behavior and his/her caregiver/system of care who is not able to adequately protect the youth or help him/her to manage this dysregulation. The most common setting in which TST is implemented is for youth involved with the child welfare system who may be in birth homes, foster care, residential treatment centers, community-based prevention programs, juvenile justice settings, school-based programs, and programs for unaccompanied alien minors.

TST aims to stabilize the child’s environment while simultaneously enhancing his/her ability to regulate emotions and behaviors. TST begins by assessing each child and his/her environment. Based on this assessment, the child is placed into one of three treatment phases. A TST priority problem is established, and a TST treatment team is assembled to address this priority problem from multiple perspectives. Different interventions and therapies are indicated within each phase, designed to both help the youth to better regulate survival states, and to help caregivers and providers to become better able to meet the child’s needs.

Program Goals:

The goals of Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) are:

  • Improve the functioning of the trauma system by:
    • Focusing assessment and treatment planning on both sides of the system, in other words, seeking to stabilize the social environment/system of care, as well as to improve the youth’s ability to regulate their emotions and behavior
    • Seeking to improve the functioning of agencies that provide service to traumatized youth in the child welfare system

Contact Information

Name: Adam Brown, PsyD
Agency/Affiliation: NYU Child Study Center
Website: www.med.nyu.edu/child-adolescent-psychiatry/research/institutes-and-programs/trauma-and-resilience-research-program/trauma-systems-therapy
Email:
Phone: (646) 754-5103
Fax: (646) 754-5210

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: March 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2012