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Evidence Based Practices

Our Approach

Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families uses a relationship-based approach to supporting and serving young people and families. We meet people where they are and through the development of connected relationships guide them in building on strengths and meeting their needs. Our programs use a range of research and evidence supported strategies according to the program focus and specific needs of the child, youth, or family.

Life Space Crisis Intervention
Life Space Crisis Intervention is a child and youth care method for using incidents of problem behavior as a context for building insight and new skills. The goal of the intervention is to increase self-awareness and self-regulation. The strategies are designed to be individualized and can be applied to common problem behaviors including: displaced emotions, misperceptions, lagging social skills, bullying, impulsivity, and destructive peer relationships. Casa Pacifica is an international training site for Life Space Crisis Intervention.

Collaborative Problem Solving
Collaborative Problem Solving is a child and youth care method for engaging individuals in solving problems contributing to challenging behavior patterns. It is a non-coercive strategy to reduce tension, improve communication, and repair relationships. The theory includes the impact of lagging skills and expectations of the environment on the ability of the young person to be successful. Inquiry and empathy skills are used to guide entry steps to solving prioritized problems. Casa Pacifica trainers have received advanced training from Dr. Ross Greene, but is not certified by or affiliated with Lives in the Balance or Think:Kids.

The Therapeutic Use of Daily Life Events
If we want to be as effective as we can be in assisting a young person to move on to a place of less pain and trouble – or simply move toward the next step in their development – then we need to consider how to make the most of every minute we have with her or him. Everyday, seemingly simple, moments occur in the lives of young people which provide powerful and relevant opportunities for promoting growth and development. Whether it’s a simple exchange in the routine of everyday life, a life altering moment in working with a family, a brief encounter on the street, or a planned event with a child in a residential program or foster home we can increase the quality of our interactions with those we care about. This curriculum is based on Dr. Thom Garfat’s award winning research into developing effective interventions with young people and their families.

Trust Based Relational Intervention
Trust-Based Relational Interventions (TBRI) is an emerging intervention model for a wide range of childhood behavioral problems. It has been applied successfully in a variety of contexts, and with many children for whom numerous other interventions have failed (e.g., medications, cognitive-behavioral therapies.) TBRI is based on a solid foundation of neuropsychological theory and research, tempered by humanitarian principles. It is a family-based intervention that is designed for children who have experienced relationship-based traumas such as institutionalization, multiple foster placements, maltreatment, and/or neglect. TBRI was developed and researched by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross at the Texas Christian University Institute of Child Development.

Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Used to help people suffering from clinical post-traumatic stress return to a normal state of functioning after a traumatic event. Both parent and children learn how to process their emotions and thoughts that relate to the traumatic experience through this treatment. They are given necessary tools to alleviate overwhelming thoughts that can cause stress, anxiety and depression and are taught how to manage their emotions in a healthier way. The goal is to allow both the child and the parent to continue to develop their skills and communication techniques in a healthy manner.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Based on a biosocial theory of personality development. The main tenet is that the underlying problem for many of our youth is emotion dysregulation due to biological disposition, environmental context and the transaction between the two during childhood development. DBT combines components of behavioral and cognitive therapy, including exposure, skills training, problem-solving, contingency management and cognitive modification.

Motivational Interviewing
A client-centered, directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence.

Aggression Replacement Training
An evidenced-based psycho-educational group tool which focuses on three areas relevant to life skills for adolescents: Skills streaming (social skills), anger management, and moral reasoning.

Drug and Alcohol Recovery - The Matrix Model
Casa Pacifica’s substance abuse recovery program began in the residential treatment program in January 2008. Implemented also in community based services, it is a 20-week program designed to meet the treatment needs of youth who are struggling to recover from alcohol and/or drug abuse. The Matrix Model was developed at UCLA for young adults, includes:

• 8 sessions of Early Recovery groups
• 32 sessions of Relapse Preventions groups
• Regular attendance at off-campus 12-step meetings
• Family support and education groups
• Individual and family psychological treatment sessions
• Weekly random drug screening
• Periodic healthy reinforcement for participation and abstinence

Upon entering treatment a youth attends bi-weekly groups based on the Matrix Model. This model primarily utilizes cognitive behavioral treatment principles. In addition to the Matrix Model, this intervention integrates Motivational Interviewing throughout treatment. Motivational Interviewing is evidence based treatment designed to help directly address ambivalence about changing substance use behaviors. The use of Motivational Interviewing is crucial to enhancing the receptivity of youth to the material in the Matrix Model, and effectively addressing fluctuations in motivation to discontinue substance use or remain abstinent.

Parent Child Interactive Therapy
A 20 week program used with parent/guardians and children between the ages of 2-8 years. The first part of the program focuses on enhancing the parent- child relationship. Once these skills are mastered, treatment focuses on helping the parent learn behavioral management skills. In home specialists help insure skills transfer to the home and school environment. PCIT is an effective treatment for young children exhibiting behavioral difficulties.