Bounce Back

About This Program

Target Population: Children in elementary school grades Kindergarten through 5th grade (ages 5-11) who have experienced traumatic events

For children/adolescents ages: 5 – 11

Program Overview

Developed as an adaptation to the Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program. Bounce Back is a cognitive-behavioral, skills-based group intervention aimed at relieving symptoms of child posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and functional impairment among elementary school children (ages 5-11) who have been exposed to traumatic events. It is used most commonly for children who experienced or witnessed community, family, or school violence, or who have been involved in natural disasters, or traumatic separation from a loved one due to death, incarceration, deportation, or child welfare detainment. It includes 10 group sessions where children learn and practice feelings identification, relaxation, courage thoughts, problem solving and conflict resolution, and build positive activities and social support. It is designed to be used in schools with children from a variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and acculturation levels. It also includes 2-3 individual sessions in which children complete a trauma narrative to process their traumatic memory and share it with a parent/caregiver. Bounce Back also includes materials for parent education sessions.

Program Goals

The goals for Bounce Back are:

  • Reduce symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression
  • Build skills to enhance resilience to stress
  • Enhance students coping and problem solving strategies
  • Impact students' academic performance by improving their attendance and ability to concentrate
  • Build peer and caregiver support

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Bounce Back.

Essential Components

The essential components of Bounce Back include:

  • Screening
    • While not a part of the Bounce Back intervention itself, a screening procedure is recommended for use in the general school population to assist in identifying children who have been exposed to traumatic events and have current moderate to severe PTSD symptoms.
    • If a student screens positively, it is important to meet individually with them to verify their appropriateness for the group.
    • A call or in-person meeting with parents/caregivers is recommended before the start of treatment to answer questions, review expectations for child and parent involvement and obtain consent.
  • Bounce Back Group Formation
    • Bounce Back groups are designed to be implemented at school preferably during a nonacademic period. Schools may also choose for groups to run after the school day.
    • Bounce Back groups meet one time per week for ten weeks.
    • Bounce Back group is designed to last 45-60 minutes (one class period).
    • Bounce Back groups are typically comprised of 4-7 students.
  • Bounce Back Group Content/Key Components
    • Psychoeducation
    • Feelings Identification
    • Positive Activities
    • Relaxation Training
    • Cognitive Coping
    • Gradual Exposure for Functional Impairment
    • Trauma Narrative
    • Social Support/Connecting with Others
    • Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution
  • Bounce Back Individual Sessions
    • Bounce Back includes 2-3 individual sessions for each student.
    • Children complete a trauma narrative to process their traumatic memory.
    • Children share the trauma narrative with a parent/caregiver.
  • Parent sessions
    • Bounce Back includes material for up to 3 parent education sessions.
    • Information can be presented in one longer session or divided into 2-3.
    • Parents learn all of the skills that children are taught in Bounce Back so they can reinforce their practice and progress at home.

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Bounce Back directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, stress, poor coping and problem solving skills, poor academic performance due to poor attendance and inability to concentrate

Recommended Intensity:

45- to 60-minute weekly group sessions plus two or three 45- to 60-minute individual sessions

Recommended Duration:

10 weeks

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • School Setting (Including: Day Care, Day Treatment Programs, etc.)


Bounce Back includes a homework component:

Homework assignments described as take home practice are given each week. Assignments typically ask students to practice cognitive-behavioral skills taught during group. Some assignments encourage students to engage in new behaviors or activities that might be uncomfortable for them. Lack of homework compliance is not treated as failure.


Bounce Back has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Support of the school principal and administration
  • Parental consent
  • Training manual and workbook
  • Regular meeting space
  • A whiteboard or large writing pad
  • Extra copies of the activity worksheets for each session
  • Manuals and Training

    Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

    Service providers should be master's-level mental health clinicians. Supervisors should be licensed mental health professional with a Master's degree and with experience with cognitive-behavioral techniques and preferably child trauma.

    Manual Information

    There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

    Training Information

    There is training available for this program.

    Training Contact:
    Training Type/Location:

    Training consists of reading background materials and the manual, attending an in-person training delivered by a certified Bounce Back trainer. An online training course is also available to augment in-person training.

    Trainers typically travel to site requesting training. In addition to the clinical components, the training also addresses issues related to successful delivery of a mental health program in a school setting.

    Ongoing consultation from a local clinician with expertise in CBT and/or child trauma treatment is recommended. The manual is available at

    An on-line training course and implementation support materials can be found at

    Number of days/hours:

    The in-person training is typically 1.5 days. Online training is also available.

    Implementation Information

    Pre-Implementation Materials

    There are pre-implementation materials to measure organizational or provider readiness for Bounce Back as listed below:

    Several resources are available for preparing a school for Bounce Back including a short video for educators, a slide deck explaining the impact of trauma on learning, and a trauma toolkit for educators. All can be downloaded by registrants at

    Formal Support for Implementation

    There is formal support available for implementation of Bounce Back as listed below:

    Consultation from Bounce Back Faculty is available to all sites whether they have been trained in-person or online. Bounce Back faculty work with sites to tailor ongoing supervision and implementation support to meet the specific needs of sites.

    Supervision Calls: Implementers and/or supervisors may participate in regular conference calls on a prescheduled (i.e., twice per month) or an as-needed basis with our faculty, for ongoing clinical and implementation consultation as they implement the program.

    Booster Session: Sites may choose to bring Bounce Back faculty back to the site to conduct one-day booster session.

    Online Support: A large number of implementation materials are available at for free download. Evaluations of the training website reveal that clinicians use the materials and videos to support the implementation process.

    Fidelity Measures

    There are fidelity measures for Bounce Back as listed below:

    For sites interested in monitoring fidelity, clinicians can tape-record groups which are then reviewed and rated by our Bounce Back faculty.

    Fidelity rating guide can be found at

    Implementation Guides or Manuals

    There are implementation guides or manuals for Bounce Back as listed below:

    A complete training manual and implementation guide is available at

    Research on How to Implement the Program

    Research has not been conducted on how to implement Bounce Back.

    Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

    Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

    Langley, A. K., Gonzalez, A., Sugar, C. A., Solis, D., & Jaycox, L. (2015). Bounce Back: Effectiveness of an elementary school-based intervention for multicultural children exposed to traumatic events. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(5), 853-865.

    Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
    Number of Participants: 74


    • Age — Children: Mean=7.65 years, Parents: Not specified
    • Race/Ethnicity — Children: 49% Latino, 27% Caucasian, 18% African American, 5% Biracial, and 1% Asian; Parents: Not specified
    • Gender — Children: 50% Boys, Parents: Not specified
    • Status — Participants were students in Grades 1–5, who have been exposed to traumatic events.

    Location/Institution: Four elementary schools in Los Angeles County

    Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
    This study tested the effectiveness of the Bounce Back program in improving symptoms of posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety. Children were randomized to immediate or delayed (3-month waitlist) intervention. Measures utilized include the Traumatic Events Screening Inventory for Children–Brief Form (TESI-C-Brief), the UCLA Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (RI), the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED-C), the Social Adjustment Scale-Self-Report for Youth (SAS-SR-Y), the Coping Efficacy measure, the Emotion Regulation Checklist (ERC) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results at postintervention demonstrate that compared with children in the delayed condition, children who received Bounce Back immediately demonstrated significantly greater improvements in parent- and child-reported posttraumatic stress and child-reported anxiety symptoms. Upon receipt of the intervention, the delayed intervention group demonstrated significant improvements in parent- and child-reported posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms. The immediate treatment group maintained or showed continued gains in all symptom domains over the 3-month follow-up period (6-month assessment). Limitations include small sample size, lack of control group at 3-month follow-up, and length of follow-up.

    Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 3 months (Intervention group only).

    Additional References

    Gonzalez, A., Monzon, N., Solis, D., Jaycox, L., & Langley, A. K. (2016). Trauma exposure in elementary school children: Description of screening procedures, level of exposure, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. School Mental Health, 8(1), 77-88.

    Langley, A. K., Santiago, C. D., Rodriguez, A., & Zelaya, J. (2013). Improving implementation of mental health services for trauma in multicultural elementary schools: Stakeholder perspectives on parent and educator engagement. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 40(3), 247-262.

    Contact Information

    Audra Langley, PhD
    Agency/Affiliation: UCLA

    Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: February 2021

    Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: February 2018

    Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2015