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The Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) Framework

The Attachment, Regulation, and Competency (ARC) framework is a model for working with children and families who have experienced complex trauma. Complex trauma is a type of trauma that is chronic and often involves repeated exposure to multiple traumatic events, such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or loss. The ARC model is based on the idea that children who have experienced complex trauma need support in three key areas: attachment, regulation, and competency. 

  • Attachment: The ARC model recognizes the importance of attachment and the role it plays in a child’s emotional and psychological development. The model aims to strengthen the attachment between the child and their caregivers and focuses on developing healthy and secure relationships. 
  • Regulation: The ARC model emphasizes the importance of emotional regulation, which refers to a child’s ability to manage and regulate their emotions in a healthy and adaptive way. The model includes strategies for helping children learn to manage their emotions and develop effective coping skills. 
  • Competency: The ARC model recognizes the importance of competency and the role it plays in a child’s overall well-being. The model aims to help children develop a sense of competence and mastery in different areas of their lives, such as school, relationships, and daily activities. 

The ARC model is implemented through a series of interventions and strategies that aim to support children and their families in these three areas. Interventions may include psychoeducation, individual and family therapy, skill-building activities, and creative therapies such as art or play therapy.

The ARC model has been used successfully in a variety of settings, including schools, mental health clinics, and residential treatment centers. It is designed to be a flexible and adaptable model that can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual child and family.

The Adolescent Recovery Capital Framework

The Adolescent Recovery Capital framework identifies several key capitals crucial in supporting an adolescent’s recovery from substance abuse or other behavioral challenges. These capitals are often considered valuable resources and strengths contributing to a successful recovery journey. Here are the Capital’s PRI helps families cultivate strength and understanding.

  • Human Capital: This refers to the individual skills, abilities, and knowledge that the adolescent possesses. It includes factors such as education, self-awareness, and personal development.
  • Social Capital: Social capital involves an adolescent’s relationships and social networks. Positive, supportive relationships with family, friends, mentors, and peers are essential for recovery.
  • Cultural Capital: Cultural capital acknowledges the cultural, ethnic, or community-specific resources and traditions that can contribute to an adolescent’s recovery. It recognizes the importance of cultural identity and heritage.
  • Psychological Capital: Psychological Capital focuses on an adolescent’s emotional and mental well-being. It includes factors like self-esteem, self-efficacy, and emotional resilience.
  • Physical Capital: Physical capital encompasses an adolescent’s physical health and well-being. It involves access to healthcare, nutrition, exercise, and overall physical wellness.
  • Recovery Capital: Recovery capital is a broad category that includes all the resources and strengths an adolescent can draw upon to support their recovery journey. It encompasses the other capitals mentioned above and emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to recovery.

The CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training)

The CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach is an evidence-based intervention strategy designed to help individuals, including teens, who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction. While CRAFT was initially developed for adults with substance use disorders, it can also be adapted and applied to adolescents and their families. CRAFT for teens involves specific techniques and principles tailored to this age group.

Here are vital components of CRAFT for substance abuse interventions for teens:

  1. Understanding Motivation: CRAFT recognizes that adolescents may have complex motivations for substance use. It helps parents and caregivers understand the underlying reasons for their teen’s substance use, including peer pressure, stress, trauma, or emotional difficulties.
  2. Positive Communication: CRAFT teaches parents and caregivers effective communication strategies to engage their teenagers in conversations about substance use without judgment or confrontation. Open, non-blaming dialogue is crucial in the process.
  3. Behavioral Reinforcement: This approach encourages parents to reinforce positive behaviors and activities in their teens’ lives that are incompatible with substance use. By providing rewards and incentives for sobriety and healthy choices, parents can promote positive change.
  4. Self-Care for Caregivers: CRAFT recognizes that caregivers often experience high levels of stress and emotional strain when dealing with a loved one’s substance abuse. It emphasizes self-care practices and coping strategies to help caregivers manage their own well-being.
  5. Safety Planning: In cases where a teenager’s substance use poses immediate risks to their health or safety, CRAFT helps parents develop safety plans to protect their child while maintaining boundaries and consequences.
  6. Motivational Techniques: CRAFT incorporates motivational interviewing techniques to help teens explore their own motivations for change and work towards setting and achieving their goals for recovery.
  7. Seeking Professional Help: CRAFT encourages parents to involve professionals when necessary. This may include seeking therapy or treatment for the adolescent, attending support groups for parents, or consulting with addiction specialists.

Individual Psychotherapy

Individual psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or one-on-one therapy, is a form of psychological treatment where a person meets privately with a mental health professional to discuss their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The therapist acts as a guide, helping the person to explore their emotions, understand their patterns of behavior, and find solutions to the challenges they are facing. Individual therapy can help a person manage symptoms of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as address other issues such as relationship problems, grief, and stress. The frequency and duration of therapy sessions vary, but most people attend weekly sessions for 30-60 minutes. The goal of therapy is to help individuals gain insight into their thoughts and behaviors, develop coping strategies, and improve their overall well-being.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves a group of people receiving treatment together under the guidance of a therapist. The group typically consists of people with similar issues or experiences, and the therapy is designed to provide a supportive and collaborative environment where members can share their thoughts and feelings, provide feedback and support to one another, and work on resolving their emotional and behavioral difficulties.
Group therapy can help individuals feel less isolated, improve their communication and interpersonal skills, and learn from the experiences of others. Group therapy can be particularly effective for treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, among others. 

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is a form of therapy that helps young children and their parents or caregivers resolve emotional and behavioral difficulties resulting from trauma, stress, and relationship problems.
CPP focuses on the relationship between the child and parent or caregiver, as this relationship is seen as the primary source of support and security for the child. The therapist works with both the child and parent/caregiver to improve communication, increase understanding and empathy, and resolve conflicts and difficulties in their relationship.
This can lead to improved mental health and well-being for both the child and parent/caregiver and can help prevent the development of future emotional and behavioral problems. CPP often involves weekly sessions and may be provided in individual or group formats.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of therapy that helps children and adolescents develop more positive coping skills and increase their psychological flexibility.

The goal of ACT is to help them focus on what is important and meaningful in their lives and to develop the ability to accept negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences without getting overwhelmed or controlled by them.

ACT for children and adolescents typically involves a range of techniques, such as mindfulness, visualization, and role-playing exercises, to help them identify and work through their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

The therapy also encourages children and adolescents to make choices and take actions that are consistent with their values and goals, rather than being driven by their negative thoughts and feelings.

In simple terms, ACT for children and adolescents is about helping them to focus on the present moment, become aware of their thoughts and feelings, and make choices that align with their values and goals, even when they are experiencing negative thoughts and emotions. With the help of an ACT therapist, children, and adolescents can develop a more positive and fulfilling life.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

TF-CBT stands for Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. It is a type of therapy used to help children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, natural disasters, or other traumatic events.

The therapy combines cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with other therapeutic techniques to address the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors associated with traumatic experiences.

The goal of TF-CBT is to help individuals process their traumatic experiences, build resilience and coping skills, and improve their overall emotional and psychological well-being.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs can affect our emotions and actions, and that changing these negative thought patterns can lead to improvements in mood and behavior.

During CBT sessions, a person works with a therapist to identify and challenge their negative thought patterns, learn coping strategies to manage their symptoms, and develop more positive ways of thinking and behaving.

CBT can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.

CBT is typically a short-term therapy, with most people attending 12-20 sessions, and it is often seen as a cost-effective and practical alternative to medication. The goal of CBT is to help individuals gain control over their thoughts and emotions, reduce their symptoms, and improve their overall well-being.


Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents (IPT-A)

Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents (IPT-A) is a form of psychotherapy that was specifically designed for treating depression in adolescents. IPT-A is based on the principle that social relationships and interactions play a key role in our mental health and well-being.

The therapy focuses on helping adolescents improve their communication and interpersonal skills, manage conflicts with friends and family members, and resolve feelings of sadness, anger, and hopelessness.

During IPT-A therapy, the therapist works with the adolescent to identify and understand the interpersonal issues that are contributing to their depression and then helps them develop and practice new ways of communicating and relating to others.

IPT-A is typically a short-term therapy, lasting 12-20 weeks, and it is often seen as a safe and effective alternative to medication.

The goal of IPT-A is to help adolescents overcome their depression, improve their relationships with others, and achieve a greater sense of well-being.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a type of psychotherapy designed to help individuals manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. DBT was originally developed to treat individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), but has since been adapted to treat a variety of other conditions, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

DBT is based on the idea that emotions and thoughts can be overwhelming and difficult to manage, leading to harmful behaviors such as self-harm, substance abuse, and impulsive decisions. DBT aims to help individuals develop skills to regulate their emotions, tolerate distress, and improve their relationships with others.

In DBT, individuals work with a therapist to learn and practice a set of skills, including mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance. These skills are taught through individual therapy sessions, group skills training, and phone coaching between sessions. DBT has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms and improving the quality of life for individuals with various mental health conditions.

It is an evidence-based treatment that is widely used by mental health professionals. If you are struggling with emotional regulation, thoughts, and behaviors, it may be helpful to consider seeking help through DBT therapy.


Child-Parent Family Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CFF-CBT)

CFF-CBT stands for Child-Parent Family Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a type of psychotherapy that is designed to help families with children and adolescents who are experiencing emotional and behavioral problems. CFF-CBT focuses on teaching both the child and the parents coping skills and problem-solving strategies to manage difficult situations.

The therapy aims to help the child and parent(s) understand and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to emotional and behavioral problems. In CFF-CBT, the therapist works with the child and parent(s) together and separately to address specific issues and improve communication and relationships within the family.

The therapy often involves role-playing, practicing skills, and homework assignments to help solidify the changes made in therapy. CFF-CBT has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health concerns in children and adolescents, including anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

It is a family-focused, evidence-based treatment that can help families improve their relationships and overall functioning. If you are a parent or caregiver seeking help for a child or adolescent with emotional or behavioral problems, CFF-CBT may be a helpful option to consider.


Art Therapy and Movement Therapy

Art therapy and movement therapy are forms of psychotherapy that use creative expression as a way to help individuals manage and overcome mental health issues. Art therapy involves using various forms of creative expression, such as drawing, painting, or sculpting, to help individuals express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions in a safe and non-verbal way.

The therapist provides support and guidance to help individuals understand the meaning behind their artwork and use it as a tool for personal growth and healing. Movement therapy, also known as dance/movement therapy, involves using movement and dance as a way to explore emotions, improve physical and emotional well-being, and develop better body awareness.

A movement therapist guides individuals through structured movement exercises and improvisational dances to help them express their feelings and explore new ways of moving and interacting with the world. Both art and movement therapies can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.

These therapies can also be used to help individuals improve their self-esteem, develop better coping strategies, and enhance their overall well-being.


Family Therapy

Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves the whole family or a group of people who are closely related or have a significant impact on each other’s lives.

The goal of family therapy is to help families improve their communication and relationships, resolve conflicts, and find solutions to problems that are affecting the mental health and well-being of one or more family members.

During family therapy sessions, the therapist works with all members of the family to explore and understand the underlying issues that are causing problems and then helps them develop new and more effective ways of communicating and relating to each other.

Family therapy can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems, among others. Family therapy is often seen as a cost-effective and practical alternative to individual therapy, as it addresses problems that are affecting the entire family system, rather than just one individual.

The goal of family therapy is to help families improve their relationships, reduce stress, and achieve a greater sense of well-being.


Social Skills

Social skills are the abilities and behaviors that allow individuals to effectively interact and communicate with others in a variety of social situations. They are important for building and maintaining positive relationships, achieving personal and professional goals, and promoting overall well-being. Examples of social skills include: 

  • Active listening and paying attention to others 
  • Showing empathy and understanding toward others 
  • Making eye contact and using appropriate body language 
  • Communicating effectively and assertively 
  • Solving conflicts and negotiating with others 
  • Building and maintaining relationships 

Social skills can be developed and improved through practice and positive reinforcement. If you are struggling with social skills, it may be helpful to consider seeking support through therapy, social skills groups, or other resources. Improving social skills can help increase confidence, improve relationships, and enhance the overall quality of life.


Multi-Family Therapy

Multi-family therapy is a type of therapeutic intervention that involves working with multiple families simultaneously in a group setting. The primary goal of multi-family therapy is to improve communication, support, and problem-solving skills among family members.

Multi-family therapy can be especially effective for families with complex issues or difficulties that may benefit from a collaborative, supportive approach. During multi-family therapy sessions, families participate in activities, discussions, and exercises that promote interaction and problem-solving.

The therapist may lead structured activities such as role-playing or group games that encourage families to work together and improve communication. Sessions may also include education about mental health issues and coping strategies.


Multi-family therapy has several benefits, including: 

  1. Enhanced support: By participating in therapy with other families, individuals can feel less isolated and more supported. 
  2. Improved communication: Multi-family therapy can help families improve their communication skills and reduce conflicts. 
  3. More opportunities for learning: With multiple families involved, there may be more opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences and insights. 
  4. A sense of community: Participating in multi-family therapy can provide families with a sense of community and belonging. 

Multi-family therapy can be helpful in treating a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and behavioral disorders. It is often used in combination with other therapeutic approaches and may be recommended in addition to individual or family therapy.


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