How to Do Root Work in Trauma Treatment Using Feedback Loops and Playbooks

Sixteen-year-old Lucy and her family are hopelessly stuck in the weeds. Lucy is in treatment due to self-harming behaviors (cutting), symptoms of depression, and anxiety. She was bullied through 9th grade at school. Since this traumatic event, her grades continue to plummet, her attendance is sporadic, and she suffers from depression and anxiety. To add […]

Trauma and Nutrition: The FST Nutrition Strategy

Why is Nutrition Not Typically Part of Trauma Treatment? Despite the advances of nutritional therapy over the last 30 years, there is often limited to no inclusion of nutrition as part of the trauma treatment for children and families with PTSD. However, diet and nutrition can serve as powerful tools to influence change in both […]

Safety First Before Trauma Treatment

The FST Trauma Safety Playbook I will never forget the phone call. Sarah, a highly competent trauma therapist, contacted me and said: Scott, I am stuck with this family. I have been seeing them for over ten months with little to no significant change. Fifteen-year-old Leon is now involved in both the juvenile justice system […]

Client Feedback Improves Trauma Outcomes: The FST Ethnographic Technique

Why Feedback from Clients Matter Feedback comes in different forms, positive and negative, however, no matter what, it should always be constructive. Sure, it’s mostly subjective, but whenever I ask for feedback, I am “amazed” by how often people use absolute terms and words during sessions I’ve been a part of. They are eye opening […]

How to Engage the Extended Family in Trauma Treatment

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child It takes a village to raise a child is an old African proverb. It means that a child needs both the immediate and extended family to overcome adverse experiences like trauma and to grow up in a safe and secure environment. Unfortunately, traditional trauma treatment often only […]

FST Stabilization vs. Active Trauma Technique: Setting the Goals of Therapy

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? The chicken-and-egg expression refers to situations in which it is unknown what happened first, or what situation caused the other. In trauma treatment, a critical chicken-or-the-egg decision occurs after the diagnostic assessment. Trauma therapists must choose to begin with one of the following goals for therapy: Stabilize […]

Family Trauma Treatment
Root Work: FST Seed Tree Technique

We Have to Get Out Of the Weeds   Weeds return when roots are not pulled. In the same way, our clients’ traumatic symptoms (the weeds) return when we fail to identify and treat the root causes.  When this happens, our traumatized children and families in family trauma treatment experience first order change or change […]

The FST Stress Chart Technique: Quickly Diagnose and Assess Your Trauma Cases

“Knowing is half the battle.” ~GI Joe You’ve seen the stressed-out family. Someone is crying, another is fidgeting and then there is the angry one! If only you could show the family how stressed they are and what was causing the stress. Well, now you can. At the Family Trauma Institute, we’ve found that knowing […]

Engaging Parents: The FST Motivational Phone Call Technique

High Parent Involvement is the Key to Your Trauma Treatment Success Without parent involvement in your trauma treatment, child relapse rates skyrocket. To prevent relapse, it is important to begin building relationships before you meet with the family. That is why the FST| Family Systems Trauma Model incorporates the Motivational Interview (MI) Call Technique. Sobering […]

Knowing Where to Tap: Using a Structural-Strategic Lens to Locate The Root Cause of a Family’s Trauma

There is an excellent story on the importance of knowing where to tap told by the late family therapist, Virginia Satir: After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room. He looked at the maze of twisting pipes, listened to the thump of the […]

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