Therapeutic Approaches


Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)®

TBRI® is a holistic, evidence-based approach that is multidisciplinary, flexible, and attachment-based. It is a trauma-informed intervention that is specifically designed to meet the complex needs of children who have experienced trauma and attachment disruptions, such as maltreatment, abuse, neglect, multiple home placements, and violence, but is an approach that can be used by parents and caregivers with all children. TBRI® consists of three sets of harmonious principles: Connecting (to address attachment needs), Empowering (to address physical needs), and Correcting (to address fear-based behavioral needs). These principles can be used in homes (e.g., birth homes, foster homes, kinship homes, adoptive homes, etc.), schools, orphanages, residential treatment centers, and other environments. They are designed to be used by parents and caregivers with children and youth of all ages and risk levels. TBRI® is based upon how optimal development should have occurred. By helping caregivers understand what should have happened in early development (including prenatal development), TBRI® principles can be used by parents and caregivers to help guide children and youth back to their natural developmental trajectory. The TBRI® Caregiver Training is a group, in-person, parent training program offered twice a year at K&FT. The majority of K&FT therapists and staff have received the TBRI® Caregiver Training and we have two TBRI® Practitioners on our staff.

Theraplay®

Theraplay® is an evidence-based, structured play therapy for children and their caregivers. The goal of Theraplay® is to enhance attachment, self-esteem, and trust in others. Behavioral problems can often be traced back to insecure attachments in the early years; a time that is critical in the development of self-esteem and trust. Because of this, Theraplay® activities are based on the child’s current emotional level rather than their chronological age. Activities, which are chosen by the therapist, are simple and aimed at creating a sense of closeness between the child and the caregiver. Sessions are playful, yet structured, and guided by the caregiver. This allows the child to recognize the caregiver as someone who is nurturing and able to provide guidance. The majority of our therapists have received Theraplay® Level One training, some have received Level Two training, and two are certified in Theraplay®.

Trauma–Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) is an approach to treat children and adolescents who are experiencing dysregulating behaviors as a result of a past traumatic event.  Together, children and parents learn new skills to help process difficult thoughts and feelings related to the trauma; i.e. parenting skills, relaxation techniques, cognitive coping skills, and affective expression and regulation practices.  A trauma narrative is constructed and experienced by caregiver and child; which helps to enhance safety and future development within the context of the family. Many of our therapists have received training in TF-CBT.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

The goal of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is to provide the tools to deal with past, present, and future trauma while focusing on the positive. This is done by reprocessing disturbing events to change the way the memory is stored, thus reducing trauma-related symptoms (anxiety, sleep issues, depression, etc.). EMDR therapy is tolerated well by children and positive results are often more quickly obtained than with adults because there are fewer memories to deal with. Playful and child-friendly strategies are used to make EMDR therapy developmentally appropriate and appealing for children. Each child in EMDR therapy is seen as an individual with distinctive needs and assets (Shapiro, F, 2012). We have an EMDR practitioner on staff.

Parent Education/Training: Nurturing Connections

Psychoeducational support for caregivers of children with a history of trauma and insecure attachments. These children often display behaviors that are frustrating and sometimes baffling to their caregivers. Without a deeper understanding of why children are acting the way they are and without support and specific tools to help with challenging behaviors, caregivers often become overwhelmed and are unable to parent to the best of their ability. Topics include: attachment, development, trauma, resilience, therapeutic parenting, co-parenting, making sense of your attachment history, grief and loss, self-care, play and family bonding, and adoption.