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CBITS Adapted for Elementary-aged Students:  Bounce Back 

Developed as an adaptation for elementary aged students of the Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program, Bounce Back contains many of the same therapeutic elements but is designed with added elements and engagement activities and more parental involvement to be developmentally appropriate for 5-11 year olds. 

Bounce Back is a cognitive-behavioral, skills-based, group intervention aimed at relieving symptoms of child traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and functional impairment among elementary school children (ages 5-11) who have been exposed to traumatic events. Bounce Back is used most commonly for children who have experienced or witnessed community, family, or school violence, or who have been involved in natural disasters, accidents, physical abuse, neglect, or traumatic separation from a loved one due to death, incarceration, deportation, or child welfare detainment. The clinician-led intervention 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 also includes 2-3 individual sessions in which children complete a trauma narrative to process their traumatic memory and grief and share it with a parent/caregiver. Between sessions, children practice the skills they have learned. Bounce Back also includes materials for parent education sessions.

Research on the program showed positive outcomes, similar to those seen in CBITS studies.  To learn more about the Bounce Back program visit: www.bouncebackprogram.org

CBITS Adapted for Teachers and School Counselors:  Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET)

During the rollout of CBITS, many school districts asked what to do if they did not have access to clinicians for delivery of the program. In response, we obtained funding from the National Institute of Mental Health to adapt CBITS for use by teachers and school counselors without clinical training. The result is Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET), a series of 10 lessons with a structured approach that aims to reduce distress resulting from exposure to trauma. Designed to be implemented by teachers or school counselors in groups of 8 to 10 middle school students, the program includes a wide variety of skill-building techniques geared toward changing maladaptive thoughts and promoting positive behaviors. It is also intended to increase levels of peer and parent support for affected students.

Created for SSET group leaders, the Group Leader Training Manual introduces the SSET concept and provides detailed information on selecting student participants, scheduling lessons, assuring confidentiality, coordinating with clinical backup, managing difficult situations and issues, and conducting group meetings. The Lesson Plans section supplies group leader preparation information and in-depth plans for each lesson, including agendas, example scenarios, suggestions for troubleshooting specific problems, homework assignment instructions, and cross-references to other program documentation. Take-home worksheets, letters to parents, forms, and other program materials are supplied in the Lesson Worksheets and Materials section. These materials are available from RAND.

Research on the program showed it to be feasible for delivery and acceptable to implementers, parents, and students. Results of a small pilot study show the program has promise, though a larger scale evaluation is still needed.  To learn more about the SSET program visit: www.ssetprogram.org 

Life Improvement for Teens (LIFT)

Life Improvement for Teens (LIFT) is an interactive, web-based curriculum for middle and high school-aged students relating to stress, trauma, and adverse experiences. LIFT draws on the cognitive-behavioral techniques in treatments such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), CBITS, SSET, and Bounce Back. LIFT contains seven chapters, which cover different skills and topic areas including: psycho-education, relaxation skills, cognitive restructuring, trauma narrative, and problem solving. A preliminary pilot study of the LIFT curriculum demonstrated reductions in PTSD symptoms, behavioral difficulties, emotional difficulties, and self-reported ratings of stress. 

For more information about LIFT visit, see the LIFT Guide.  Contact Lisa Jaycox (jaycox@rand.org) for access to the program.

 Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma

Many educators can experience distress upon learning about the traumatic events thier students have experienced. Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma (STAT) is an online curriculum designed to teach all school staff about the impact secondary traumatic stress. The STAT curriculum is designed to help educators understand Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) and provide ways to mitigate its effects through the use of self-care techniques and a variety of helpful resources. By taking this course, educators will gain a basic understanding of STS and learn to differentiate between trauma and stress. Educators will also learn the common signs and risk factors associated with STS. The STAT curriculum is comprised of 5 modules that can be taken at your own pace.

To learn more about the STAT program visit: www.statprogram.org

 

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