Specialized Evaluations for Youth With Histories of Trauma and Youth With Sexual Behavior Problems
The Traumatic Stress Institute offers specialized evaluations for youth with significant emotional and psychiatric challenges, especially those with histories of trauma and those with sexual behavior problems.
The specialized evaluations are comprehensive in nature integrating information about the client’s biological, psychological, social, and cognitive functioning. They use state-of-the-art assessment tools to paint a holistic and clinically-rich picture of the child and their needs.
Evaluations for Youth with Histories of Trauma
Often traumatized children and adolescents pose particular challenges for treatment providers — they display extreme behaviors that are difficult to understand and treat; they get stuck in their treatment; they are reluctant to connect with others; they are difficult to place; and they evoke strong feelings in staff trying to help them. For these reasons, it is sometimes important for treatment providers and the system to take a step back and get a comprehensive evaluation.
TSI’s staff collects data from multiple sources via clinical interview, record review, and standardized assessment tools to attain a holistic view of the child, their challenges, treatment needs, and placement options. All evaluation reports include individualized recommendations and the option for an in-person meeting with members of the child’s treatment team and their families to review the report and discuss treatment recommendations and trajectory.
Evaluations for Youth With Sexual Behavior Problems
In a culture saturated with sex, all types of treatment settings now are having to treat and manage children with a range of sexual behavior problems – some may be engaged in provocative and sexualized behavior with peers and adults; some may be engaged in high-risk self-destructive sexual behavior; others may have been sexually abused. While some require specialized sex-abuse specific treatment, most can be treated in more general mental health settings.
Regardless of the presenting behavior, a comprehensive evaluation that looks at risk and protective factors for sexual abuse, underlying reasons for the sexual behavior, the impact of trauma, and diagnostic issues is often required. TSI’s specialized evaluations use state-of-the-art, evidenced-based assessment tools such as the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 2001), Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (Briere, 1996), Child Sexual Behavior Checklist (Johnson, 1998), the J-SOAP II (Prentky and Righthand, 2003), and the ERASOR (Worling, 2004). All evaluations include individualized recommendations and the option of an in-person meeting to review the report with parents and/or the treatment team.
Steve Brown, Psy.D., a longtime member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), has worked in the sex abuse field for over 10 years. He is a nationally recognized sexuality educator/trainer and the author of Streetwise to Sex: Sexuality Education for High Risk Youth, a curriculum used nationally by programs serving at-risk youth.
Patricia D. Wilcox, LCSW specializes in the treatment of traumatized children and their families and has presented extensively on this topic. Ms. Wilcox is the creator of the Restorative Approach™, a trauma-informed approach to congregate care treatment of children.
Janessa Bodzon, MSW, Therapist New Britain, CT