Child & Family Therapy
Our Mental Health Program
Our mental health team is dedicated to helping children and their non-offending caregivers heal from trauma using evidence-based treatment modalities. Our team includes a dedicated group of full-time social workers, a psychologist, and gifted interns. We offer outpatient therapy in our child friendly clinic to children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect and short-term in-home services to children who have been removed from their families and placed in kinship care or foster care.
Below are brief descriptions of the different treatment modalities currently offered at the Tree House Child Advocacy Center:
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Ages 5-18)
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for children who have experienced traumatic events and their supportive, non-offending caregivers. The goal of this treatment is to help children recover from their trauma, reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and problem behaviors. TF-CBT teaches children and caregivers coping skills that they can use to manage traumatic stress, helps families process the traumatic experiences, and enhances the child’s future safety and development. Treatment includes individual sessions for the child, individual sessions for the child’s caregiver, and conjoint sessions for the child and their caregiver. The therapy typically requires 6 to 12 months to complete. Learn more here
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Problematic Sexualized Behavior Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Components (primarily ages 7-12)
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) with Problematic Sexualized Behavior Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT) is an advanced, hybrid treatment modality that allows clinicians to use aspects of PSB-CBT within the TF-CBT framework. The goal of this treatment is to address problematic sexual behaviors children are exhibiting when the origin of these behaviors seems to be related to trauma the children have experienced. TF-CBT with PSB-CBT builds upon TF-CBT and provides children and caregivers with sexual behavior rules, coping skills, and additional psychoeducation that specifically addresses the problematic behaviors. Treatment includes individual sessions for the child, individual sessions for the child’s caregiver, and conjoint sessions for the child and caregiver. This therapy typically requires 6 to 12 months to complete. Learn more here
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (Ages 2-7)
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based treatment for young children with externalizing problems, such as emotion regulation and behavioral difficulties, and is successful with children who have experienced trauma. The goal of treatment is to increase the warmth and security of the parent child interaction, as well as to teach parents how to provide effective commands to increase the child’s compliance with daily instructions. Children and their caregivers are seen together in PCIT. PCIT therapists coach caregivers in how to deliver therapy skills to children using ‘bud in the ear’ technology while observing the caregiver and child during play. Treatment typically requires 18 to 35 sessions. Learn more here
Eye Movement Desensitization and Re-processing (Ages 4-18)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Re-processing (EMDR) is a structured therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements), which is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotion associated with the trauma memories. EMDR therapy is an extensively researched, effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD symptoms. Ongoing research supports positive clinical outcomes showing EMDR therapy as a helpful treatment for disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, addictions, and other distressing life experiences. EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process. EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For many clients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies. Learn more here
Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (Ages 7-18)
Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) is a brief, evidence-based early intervention therapy for children who have recently experienced a traumatic event. It is administered during the peritraumatic phase (starting within 45 days of the occurrence or disclosure of the traumatic event). The goal is to treat acute trauma symptoms and prevent the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma sequalae. The therapy works by teaching caregivers and children about common traumatic reactions, helping them identify and communicate about these symptoms, and implementing targeted behavioral interventions to address current symptoms. This treatment involves 5 to 8 sessions, an optional 1-month follow-up, and a 3-month follow-up. Learn more here
Transitional Trauma Therapy (Ages 0-18)
Transitional Trauma Therapy (T3) is a collaborative service developed by the Tree House CAC and Montgomery County Child Welfare Services to provide short term mental health services to children who have been sheltered by the Department and placed in either kinship care or foster care. T3 is a short-term service of no more than 6 sessions geared towards mitigating the trauma of being removed from one’s family of origin and being placed in a new household, often with strangers. T3 works to provide psychoeducation to caregivers, facilitate communication between the child and their new caregivers, and foster trusting and healthy relationships between the child and their new caregivers in an attempt to improve the child’s experience and minimize placement disruptions.
Problematic Sexual Behavior - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (School-Age Group Model; Ages 7-12)
Problematic Sexual Behavior – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (PSB-CBT) is an evidence-based therapy for children who exhibit intrusive sexualized behaviors and their caregivers. The goal of the treatment is to eliminate sexual behavior problems in school-aged children. Therapists teach children and caregivers about appropriate and inappropriate sexual behaviors, how to set and respect personal boundaries, social skills, and ways they can manage emotions, behaviors, and impulses. The treatment also teaches caregivers how to respond to and address problematic sexual behavior in children through behavior management techniques. The treatment typically requires weekly group attendance for approximately 4 to 6 months. Learn more here
Need to Make a Referral?
All referrals must come directly from of the following: Child Welfare Services, law enforcement, our community partner agencies, a child’s school or their pediatrician. If you are a caregiver and are seeking services for your child, please contact one of these providers and request a referral be made on behalf of your child.
The Tree House can assist in making a referral to an appropriate community provider as appropriate.
When a referral is made by one of the above mentioned services, the parent or guardian will be contacted to schedule a brief phone interview and then an intake appointment. At the intake appointment we will meet with you and your child and determine what therapy services are needed.