Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 11:00

Assumption’s Beck Institute to Host Workshop on Treating Children Coping with Traumatic Life Events

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy co-founder will discuss this well-supported and effective treatment for children

WORCESTER, MA (October 19, 2016)— The Aaron T. Beck Institute for Cognitive Studies at Assumption College will hold a one-day workshop exploring Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), a treatment method which is used to aid children and adolescents who have significant emotional problems related to traumatic life events. Esther Deblinger, Ph.D., one of the founders of TF-CBT, will discuss her research regarding this successful evidence-based treatment on Friday, Nov. 4, from 12:30–4 p.m. in the Salon of the La Maison Francaise building on the Assumption College Campus, 500 Salisbury St., Worcester.   

Dr. Deblinger is a professor of psychiatry and co-founder and co-director of the Child Abuse Research Education and Service (CARES) Institute at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, NJ. She and her collaborators, Drs. Judith Cohen and Anthony Mannarino, developed and extensively tested TF-CBT, which is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy approach for children and adolescents who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events. This components-based treatment model assists children and parents in learning new skills to help process thoughts and feelings related to traumatic life events; manage and resolve distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related traumatic life events; and enhance safety, growth, parenting skills, and family communication.

“The number of children who are the victims of traumatic events is a serious community problem, one that must be addressed through the delivery of effective treatments to ease their pain and suffering,” said Leonard Doerfler, Ph.D., professor and director of the counseling psychology program at Assumption College. “We want to bring awareness to a  new type of  evidence-based treatment, as well as help others in the education field familiarize themselves with new ways to identify signs of child abuse. It is pertinent that we tackle this at the frontline and train those in the school system to help children in need.”

TF-CBT is the most well-supported and effective treatment for children who have been abused and traumatized. Multiple clinical research studies consistently have found it to help children with PTSD and other trauma-related problems, and it has been rated a Model Program and Best Practice for use with abused and traumatized children. TF-CBT currently is being used successfully in community service agencies across the country.

“Being able to provide a service to individuals in need is part of the social justice mission of the College,” added Dr. Doerfler. “This event will serve as a great primer and introduction to TF-CBT, and hopefully encourage education professionals to pursue more training on the topic.” 

Dr. Deblinger has co-authored numerous scientific publications and several widely acclaimed professional books on the treatment of child sexual abuse, physical abuse and other childhood traumas as well as several children’s books. Her work over the past 25 years has been recognized with awards from Woman’s Day magazine, the state of New Jersey’s Office of the Child Advocate, the New Jersey General Assembly and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC). Dr. Deblinger has served two terms on the Board of APSAC; she is a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and she remains an active clinician, trainer and researcher.

The cost to attend is $60, and attendees can receive three hours of professional development credit. For more information or to register, please visit the website.

Assumption College established the Aaron T. Beck Institute in 1996. Dr. Beck, an Assumption College honorary degree recipient, earned an international reputation as one of the founders of Cognitive Therapy, which is an active, structured approach that has been demonstrated to be highly effective in treating psychological conditions like depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, personality disorders, and relationship problems. Dr. Beck's pioneering work on depression profoundly altered the way this disorder is understood and treated. Dr. Beck and his colleagues systematically extended the initial work on depression to conditions as diverse as anxiety and phobias, personality disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, marital discord, and schizophrenia. Extensive research demonstrates that Cognitive Therapy provides an effective treatment for a variety of conditions that had largely been treated with medication.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews