Childhood Violent Trauma Clinic (CVTC)

The Yale Child Study Center’s Childhood Violent Trauma Clinic (CVTC) offers a range of treatments and interventions for children and adolescents who are struggling with traumatic reactions and disorders. A unique aspect of the clinic program is the focus on providing intervention early after a potentially traumatic event (PTE) in an effort to prevent negative long term psychological reactions.

The CVTC focuses on providing a newly developed brief intervention, the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI), designed to enhance communication about the impact of the PTE, enhance parental support of the affected child and to form the basis of a comprehensive evaluation and treatment recommendations for children impacted by traumatic and catastrophic events. The CFTSI is a 4-6-session secondary prevention approach for children ages 7-18 and their families who have been exposed to violence and other traumatic events.  Initial CFTSI findings have shown to significantly prevent the development of PTSD compared to standard approaches to PTSD treatment (see Trauma Research Section for further details).  CFTSI is currently being used in Child Advocacy Centers and children’s mental health clinics in New Haven, CT, and in New York City in collaboration with Safe Horizon. CFTSI is also being implemented in Philadelphia in a collaboration among the University of Pennsylvania,  St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital Emergency Department and Women Organized Against Rape. During the fall of 2011, the Trauma Section will lead a national Learning Collaborative to share this exciting model with other interested communities, particularly those involved in SAMHSA’s National Traumatic Stress Network.  An adaptation of the CFTSI on behalf of foster children and their families has also been completed.  Training and implementation has begun in 4 CAC’s in NYC in collaboration with Safe Horizons. 

The Childhood Violent Trauma Clinic also provides treatment for children with posttraumatic stress disorder following circumscribed traumatic events, and for children with other disorders and functional difficulties that result from chronic traumatization.  Treatments provided through the Clinic include Trauma-Focused CBT, Parent-Child Psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy and family therapies. Regardless of the nature and type of treatment provided, clinicians always work with caregivers as partners in the work with their children. 

The CVTC is a member of SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a federally funded network of research and treatment centers that focus on developing, testing and disseminating state-of the-art interventions for children and families affected by psychological trauma.