Yale Child Study Center (YCSC) Assistant Clinical Professor of Social Work Carrie Epstein, LCSW-R has been named Co-Director of the YCSC Center for Traumatic Stress and Recovery (formerly the Childhood Violent Trauma Center, CVTC), alongside Steven Marans, PhD. The Center recently received a 5-year, $3 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) award to support the continued training and dissemination of the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) locally, nationally, and internationally.
Epstein has been a YCSC faculty member since 2010, serving as the CVTC Director of Clinical Services and Training. For over 30 years, she has provided mental health treatment, supervision, and related consultation focused on conducting treatment and program development for children and families impacted by trauma and traumatic grief. She is recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert in training and consulting in the field of child trauma and disaster response.
Epstein is the co-developer of CFTSI, which is currently the only evidence-based trauma-focused mental health treatment for children and families that was specifically developed to be implemented in the peritraumatic phase of trauma response. CFTSI has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing and interrupting PTSD and related disorders. She is also a Master Trainer in both the CFTSI treatment model, as well as in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
Instrumental in developing and overseeing national training initiatives and national learning collaboratives focused on the dissemination of child trauma-focused evidence-based treatment models, Epstein provides training and clinical supervision on child trauma-focused evidence-based practices locally, nationally, and internationally. She has also responded to various mass casualty disasters around the country. She served as a key coordinator of New York City’s mental health response to the attacks on 9/11 and was a Principal Investigator of a collaborative, multi-site study that was the largest youth trauma project associated with the September 11th terrorist attack in New York City which was established to deliver evidence-based trauma treatments for impacted children and adolescents.
In addition, Epstein collaborated with Marans and Steven Southwick, MD to coordinate Yale’s response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown. She has co-authored numerous publications in support of her trauma activities. Epstein was the one of the original and organizing Principal Investigators of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and has continued to Co-Chair the NCTSN’s Child Traumatic Grief-Traumatic Separation Committee since its inception in 2001. She has served on the Steering Committee of the NCTSN, as well as act as a regular contributor to the NCTSN’s Terrorism and Disaster Response Committee.
Prior to her position at the YCSC, Epstein was Senior Director of Child Trauma Programs at Safe Horizon in New York City, the largest victim assistance, victim advocacy organization in the country, where she oversaw clinical services for children and families impacted by trauma in the organization’s outpatient programs, domestic violence shelters, and Child Advocacy Centers. During her tenure at Safe Horizon, she served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Evidence-based Treatment Dissemination Center of the New York State Office of Mental Health.