How to Prevent Trauma Treatment Failure: FST Troubleshooting and Dress Rehearsals

Treatment with traumatized families and children will often fail when the trauma therapist fails to both troubleshoot “what will you do if?” scenarios with the FST Trauma Playbook (i.e., what will you do if your child refuses to go on a special outing with you?) and conduct dress rehearsals with both the parent or caregiver […]

FST Trauma Playbooks to Unstick Your Families

Traumatized families with traumatized children often remain stuck in “now what?” After identifying the traumatic event and telling their story, the question is “now what?”. “What do we do in the here and now to heal our child’s trauma to move forward?” Trauma therapists often lack the tools to answer this question. In response, the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Trauma Treatment with Impossible Cases: The Undercurrents Technique

What causes traumatized children and families to get stuck and unable to move forward? How can we change the outcome of impossible cases? Over a 30-year career in mental health, I’ve set forth to answer these questions. My personal quest began after my first major treatment failure when I received this message from a mother:  […]

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