Therapy Services

Providing treatments that are proven to work

When children have symptoms related to child abuse or trauma, evidence-based treatments are available to help the child and family heal.

At the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center, we are committed to using treatments that have been proven in research to be effective. Where there are gaps in proven treatments, we are developing and evaluating innovative new treatments. Based on the needs identified in the mental health assessment, children and their caregivers find the services they need at Dee Norton or are referred to programs available elsewhere in the community. After Crisis: Helping Your Child Heal


Therapy Sessions provided to children and families in 2018

Our on-site services include:

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT; Cohen, Deblinger & Mannarino, 2004) is an evidence-based treatment that integrates cognitive behavioral techniques with trauma-specific interventions. The model has been researched in numerous randomized clinical trials and is considered the Best Practice model for reducing traumatized children’s emotional and behavioral problems. Children and families who receive TF-CBT meet weekly with a therapist, both individually and jointly. This treatment typically lasts 12-20 sessions. FAQ sexual abuse treatment Include link to TFCBT brochure

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT; Eyberg et al., 2001) is an evidence-based treatment for children ages 2 through 8 years with disruptive behavior disorders. It has been further developed to address the emotional, behavioral, and relationship problems that are commonly seen among maltreated children and their caregivers (Urquiza and McNeil, 1996). Both caregivers and children participate together in PCIT, which lasts approximately 20 sessions. Over 50 randomized controlled trials support the efficacy of PCIT in reducing children’s behavioral problems. In addition, children with histories of sexual abuse who demonstrated predominantly behavioral problems have been included in effectiveness trials for PCIT (Timmer, Ware, Urquiza & Zebell, 2010).

Sexual Behavior Problem Program (SBP)

The Sexual Behavior Problem Program (SBP) for school-age children and adolescents is an evidence-based program which is proven to show a decrease in recidivism (re-offense) rates in youth and families who complete all requirements. It is a group treatment program, with separate groups for children and caregivers. The SBP program for school-age children is a 6 month group program for children and their caregivers with open enrollment. The youth learn impulse-control techniques, social skills, coping skills, and empathy in the children’s group while the caregivers learn about sexual development, parenting skills, and supervision techniques. The SBP program for adolescents is a one year group format with open enrollment. Adolescents and caregivers complete parallel work learning about the laws in South Carolina, communication skills, moral development, and healthy sexual behaviors. Youth also complete work focused on acknowledgment of their behavior, the reasons it occurred, and its impact on others.

Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT)

hrough a partnership with MUSC, we provide this developing treatment developed by Dr. Carla Danielson. RRFT is designed to address the needs of teenage child abuse victims by reducing the risk for both trauma symptoms and high risk behaviors, such as substance use.

Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT)

Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT; Kolko, Brown, Shaver, Baumann & Herschell, 2011) is a trauma-informed, evidence-based treatment (EBT) designed to improve the relationship between children and caregivers in families where there is a history of excessive physical force/discipline, child physical abuse, frequent conflict, and/or child behavior problems. AF-CBT is provided once or twice a week over the course of 6 to 12 months. During AF-CBT, school-aged children (5-17) and their caregivers participate in separate but coordinated therapy sessions, often using parallel treatment materials. In addition, children and caregivers attend joint sessions together at various times throughout treatment.

Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI)

Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI; Berkowitz & Marans, 2011) is an early intervention, secondary prevention treatment model that involves individual sessions with the child and caregiver, as well as conjoint caregiver-child sessions. CFTSI is provided to children and adolescents who have experienced a potentially traumatic event within the past 30 days (including disclosure about prior sexual or physical abuse). The goals of CFTSI focus on increasing communication between caregiver and child about trauma-related feelings, symptoms, and behaviors with the aim of increasing the caregivers’ support of the child, and teaching both the caregiver and child to enhance their ability to cope with traumatic stress reactions. CFTSI is provided once or twice a week over 5-8 sessions. CFTSI has been evaluated to prevent the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related mental health problems.


Children who report having been abused have felt a lapse in protection by an adult. Feeling safe is necessary for children to flourish and succeed. The Clarification process is one in which caregivers work with a therapist to clarify for the child that the responsibility for protection lies with adults, and to improve the child’s sense of safety by a protective caregiver through safety planning and improved communication.