Treating the Traumatized Family

Why FST?

Our Mission

To Help Mental Health Professionals Restore Traumatized Families

Why FST?

Everywhere one turns, there seems to be another article or book on trauma-informed practice. But within these works there are three missing core pieces:

#1: The Traumatized Child and Family

Individually focused trauma-informed therapy models abound. But moving from the traumatized child as part of a traumatized family system is limited. Traumatized children are often treated in individual therapy with limited to no involvement of the family, extended family, or community.

  • In Response to this Challenge, Treating the Traumatized Child: A Family Systems Step-by-Step Approach (Springer Publishing, 2017) was written after 8 years of research in 15 different states.
    Get the Book (Amazon)
  • Additionally, this website was created to provide weekly articles and resources to help professionals or organizations become family trauma experts.
    See Recent Articles

#2: The “Now What?” Question

After the traumatic event is discussed, both children and families want concrete tools to move beyond the trauma and healing in the here and now. Parents will often ask:

“Dr. Sells, it helped to talk about our child’s wounds and ours. But NOW WHAT? What do we do in the here and now to heal these wounds? In fact, the more we talk about it, the worse we feel. We want tools to move forward instead of getting stuck in our past.”

  • In Response to this Challenge, this website provides what are called “now what?” wound playbooks each month to show you how to get your traumatized families unstuck and moving forward to heal the child’s trauma in the here and now.
    See Playbooks

#3: Detailed Step-by-Step Tools

Frontline counselors like theory and general concepts up to a point. But after the theory, counselors want and need the “mini-steps” or detailed step-by-step procedures with a plethora of case examples. This is especially true when it comes to navigating the complexities of treating traumatized children and their families.


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