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Our Treatment Philosophy

At UMCH Family Services we believe in providing the most effective, efficient care and treatment possible to best help those we serve.  We are committed to utilizing  the most professionally respected, proven techniques and philosophies available.  To that end, we utilize current evidence-based and promising practices.  We are committed to the NMT and TLC treatment models, which are trained throughout all areas of our agency and incorporated in all we do.

Our Treatment Rationale

Many of our clients have suffered adverse experiences in their lives. Research shows that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) has a lifelong effect on people. The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States (center for Disease Control and Prevention Website). It is evident our clinical approach must incorporate appropriate assessments, interventions and the child’s community. UMCH Family Services believes this is best achieved with evidenced based practices.

Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT)

(SAMSHA recognized Evidenced Based Promising Practice)

Principal Investigator and Researcher: Dr. Bruce Perry, ChildTrauma Academy

Description of NMT

The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) is a developmentally-informed, biologically-respectful approach to working with at-risk children. The NMT is not a specific therapeutic technique or intervention; it is a way to organize the child’s history and current functioning to optimally inform the therapeutic process.

The NMT integrates several core principles of neurodevelopment and traumatology into a comprehensive approach to the child, family and broader community.

The NMT process helps match:

  • The nature and timing of specific therapeutic techniques to the developmental stage of the child, and
  • To the brain region and neural networks that are likely mediating the neuropsychiatric problems.

The goal of this approach is to help family, educators, therapists and related professionals best meet the needs of the child via a:

  • Structured assessment of the child,
  • The articulation of the primary problems,
  • Identification of key strengths and the application of interventions
    • Educational, enrichment and therapeutic

Active participation of caregivers and other adults in the child’s life is important to the success of the NMT. By weaving:

  • Various activities throughout the child’s various relationships and environments,
  • The majority of “therapeutic” experiences are provided outside of the actual context of conventional therapy.

NMT Brain Mapping

Dr. Perry and the staff at ChildTrauma Academy developed an innovative, promising approach to treating trauma based on neurobiological wounding. Dr. Perry and his staff have designed a process for creating brain maps of children who have experienced chronic or complex trauma.   The maps can identify specific areas of the brain that have not been adequately nurtured and, in fact, may have been wounded. The interventions promote healing and recovery from the brain stem to the cortex.

Excerpted from the ChildTrauma Academy Website 

Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC)

Structured Sensory Interventions for Traumatized Children, Adolescents and Parents (SITCAP)Principal Investigator and Research: Dr. William Steele, Starr Commonwealth

(SAMSHA recognized Evidenced Based Practice)

Description and History of TLC:

  • TLC’s mission is to bring out the best in every traumatized child by creating environments where children can flourish.
  • In 1990 TLC identified childhood trauma as the root cause of behavior issues that were beyond the reach of traditional cognitive therapies.
  • TLC Structured Sensory Interventions for Traumatized Children, Adolescents and Parents (SITCAP) interventions were implemented following the Gulf War in Kuwait, the Oklahoma bombing, Wedgewood Baptist Church killings in Texas, 9/11, the tsumani in Sri Lanka, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the killing of school staff in the presence of students in Iowa and Texas.

No doubt you’ve seen evidence of it yourself, such as:

  • The “unreachable” boy who doesn’t respond to any kind of treatment or therapy
  • The “bad” girl who persists in disruptive, negative behavior despite all-out efforts to help her.

The truth is, trauma in children manifests itself in behaviors that defy logic, reason and the best intentions of teachers, counselors and social workers.

Evidenced based intervention: Structured Sensory Interventions for Traumatized Children (SITCAP)

The SITCAP® process directs itself at actively involving children in new experiences in order for them to build new connections related to what they are learning about themselves and trauma as a result of the sensory-based activities they engage in when participating in SITCAP®.

  • Sensory-based interventions are non-language activities that help children convey the way they now see themselves, others and the world around them as a result of their trauma experiences.
  • The intervention process involves multiple sensory-based activities, which bring these sensory memories to life in a safe, contained context so they can be
    • Regulated
    • Reordered and
    • Reframed in ways that support a resilience response to future stressful, overwhelming and terrifying experiences.
  • The SITCAP programs include sensory-based interventions such as:
    • Drawing
    • Imagery and
    • Other forms of expressive arts.
  • This intervention practice provides a mechanism for us to be a:
    • Witness to their experiences,
    • To present us with their iconic representations,
    • To give us the opportunity to see what they now see as they look at themselves and the world around them following their exposure to traumatic experience.

Excerpted from Trauma and Loss in Children description web pages