Trauma Informed Care Model
Trauma Systems Therapy
Trauma Systems Therapy (TST; Saxe, Ellis, & Kaplow, 2006) is a comprehensive method for treating traumatic stress in children and adolescents that adds to individually-based approaches by specifically addressing social environmental/system-of-care factors that are believed to be driving a child’s traumatic stress problems. TST conceptualizes child traumatic stress as the interface between two conceptual axes: 1) the degree of emotional and behavioral dysregulation when a child is triggered by overt and subtle reminders of a trauma and 2) the capacity of the child’s social-ecological environment/system-of-care to protect the child from these reminders, or help the child to regulate emotions in the face of such reminders. TST is both a way of organizing services as well as a set of specific clinical interventions.
TST Phase Assessment Grid
This phase-based treatment recommends various treatment modules depending on the degree of emotional dysregulation and the stability of the social environment. Treatment proceeds in phases depending on the child’s degree of emotional/behavioral regulation and environmental stability. Children move from one phase to the next based on improvements in the stability of the social environment and/or emotional regulation. TST includes plans and procedures for engaging all service providers, specific treatment planning forms that can cross systems of care, and legal consultation when needed to help a family access needed services related to recovery from traumatic stress. Specific intervention modalities that are contained within TST are home-based care, legal advocacy, skill-based psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology.
A full description of TST is offered in our book: Collaborative Treatment of Traumatized Children and Teens: The Trauma Systems Therapy Approach (Saxe, Ellis, & Kaplow, 2006).