Why Family Systems Trauma (FST)?

Everywhere we turn, there seems to be another book or article on trauma treatment with the individual child. But there are three missing core pieces and WHY FST? was created: #1: The Traumatized Child and Family We often treat the traumatized children or adolescents without the active involvement of their family, extended family, or community. […]

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 […]

Technology Addiction and Its Link to Rising Teen Suicides

For the first time in more than two decades, suicide is killing more teenagers than homicide. Teen suicide is on the rise. Time Magazine reports that anxiety and depression is skyrocketing with an estimated 30% of girls and 20% of boys (about 6.3 million teens) have reported anxiety disorders and three million teens ages 12 to 17 […]

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 includes the individual child. […]

Traditional v Non-traditional Approaches
to Treating Disrespect

Traditional approaches to trauma treatment for anxiety, disrespect, violence, suicide ideation, and similar issues frequently focus on the individual in order to create change. Non-traditional therapy draws on systems thinking in its view of the family as an emotional unit. This approach, upon which Dr. Scott Sells developed the FST | Family Systems Trauma model, […]

Move Your Families Forward
With “Stick and Move”

Great therapy is both process and content. Therapists can have great techniques and follow proven therapy models. Unless you are a great process counselor, client and family engagement can fall flat. Nuanced delivery and navigating in-the-moment curveballs move families beyond status quo patterns. In the video clip below, Dr. Sells describes the “stick and move” […]

Why Structural-Strategic Theory is Critical to Your Family Trauma Practice

You’ve been taught how to work with individuals. You’re most likely familiar with Cognitive Behavior, Attachment Theory, and/or Psychodynamic Theory. But how do you integrate this knowledge to move from treating the traumatized child to treating the traumatized family? At the Family Trauma Institute, we believe the answer is Structural-Strategic Theory. Understanding Structural-Strategic theory helps […]

Three Tips for Therapists Working
with Trauma Safety Stressors

As COVID-19 continues, stress and anxiety are on the rise. Suicide rates have increased. Now more than ever before, mental health professionals have the opportunity to help prevent suicide by uncovering safety stressors in families and normalizing family secrets. Tools such as the FST Stress Chart and the FST Safety Stressor Questionnaire allow clinicians to […]

Helicopter Parenting Can Affect
Childhood Anxiety

In working with mental health professionals around the world, they often tell me they are seeing increased anxiety in their clients. And, they have found that the most anxious children live in households with adults who display over-the-top protecting behaviors. These adults swoop in and rescue their children at the slightest sign of disappointment or […]

What Makes Kids with Oppositional Defiance
So Defiant?

Children and adolescents with oppositional and defiant behavior (ODD) are often referred to treatment because of extreme emotional or behavior problems – aggression, disrespect, skipping school, self-harm, suicide, running away – and not the underlying trauma and unhealthy family dynamics that are the real cause of the problem. Parents will come into your treatment with […]

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