Treating the Traumatized Child

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Treating the Traumatized Child

SKU# 9780826171870

A Step-by-Step Family Systems Approach

Author: Scott P. Sells PhD, LMFT, LCSW, Ellen Souder MA, LPCC-S



This book builds upon my early work and the work and others by offering a comprehensive guide to practitioners interested in facing and helping to heal trauma and manage the drama systemically with a special focus on children and adolescents. The FST Model is a contribution to the fields of trauma, family sciences, and human development practice." --Charles R. Figley, PhD; Kurzweg Chair in Disaster Mental Health at Tulane University in New Orleans

"Family therapy has lagged behind the rest of mental health in recognizing the impact of trauma on family patterns, so this book is very welcome and useful." --Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D.; Developer of the Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy

"As the professional community becomes increasingly attuned to trauma, Dr. Sells and Souder’s evidence-based treatment manual for frontline therapists is an invaluable resource for anyone working with children, adolescents, and families in any contemporary context. To date, I know of no other comprehensive approach that goes beyond treating trauma symptoms to ensuring a healthy and vibrant future for traumatized children and their families."- Dr. Diane Gehart, Professor, California State University, Northridge, Author, Mastering Competencies in Family Therapy

"… a well rounded road map for healing the trauma wounds... As a child psychiatrist with over 35 years of practice, I can only say I wish I had a guide like this when I was starting out. Highly recommended!" - Scott Shannon, MD author of Mental Health for the Whole Child

A step-by-step approach to trauma-informed treatment

"As a family therapist, I was thrilled to read this work by skilled clinicians who know from personal experience that individual treatment, while helpful, is not long lasting when treating trauma, unless the family system is involved. This work provides cases that illustrate how individual techniques fail and family therapy triumphs, giving a marvelous suggestion, along with valuable tools for therapists to use to reach this very special population. Seasoned clinicians, new clinicians and students will find this a treasure chest that will give them confidence when treating clients and their families of trauma, and providing them with hope."--Linda Metcalf, PhD/Author, Marriage and Family Therapy, A Practice Oriented Approach/Director of Graduate Counseling Programs/Texas Wesleyan University/Fort Worth, TX

This is the first book that addresses trauma treatment for child and adolescents using a Family Systems Trauma (FST) model which goes beyond individual therapy to include the child and their entire family.

Co-written by a renowned family therapist who created the Parenting with Love and Limits® model, it delivers a research-based , step-by-step approach that incorporates the child’s immediate family along with their extended family to treat the traumatized child or adolescent.

Using a "stress chart," the child or adolescent's trauma symptoms are quickly identified. This strategy guides therapists in accurately diagnosing root causes of the child's trauma and culminates in the creation of co-created "wound playbooks" to heal trauma in both the child as well as other family members.

Additional helpful features include extensive case examples, a menu of trauma techniques, wound playbook examples, evaluation forms, client handouts, and other practical tools to provide the therapist with a complete guide to implementing this approach. Child and family therapists, social workers, mental health counselors, and psychologists working in a variety of settings will find this book a valuable resource.

Key Features:

  • Provides a step-by-step, practice focused, time-limited model
  • Uses a family systems approach for addressing child and adolescent trauma--the only book of its kind
  • Includes useful tools such as checklists, client handouts, and evaluation forms

Product Details 

  • Publication Date November 28, 2017
  • Page Count 240
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826171870

About The Author(s) 

Scott P. Sells, PhD, MSW, LCSW, LMFT, is former tenured Professor of Social Work, Savannah State University, Savannah, GA and Associate Professor at UNLV in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Sells is the author of two best-selling books, Treating the Tough Adolescent: A Family-Based, Step-by-Step Guide (1998), and Parenting Your Out-of-Control Teenager: 7 Steps to Reestablish Authority and Reclaim Love (2001). He has over 20 publications in such periodicals as Psychotherapy Networker, Contemporary Corrections, Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, Professional Issues in Criminal Justice, Family Process, and Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, plus book chapters in the Handbook of Family Therapy Research Methods (1996) and Social Worker’s Desk Reference, 2/E (2008.) Dr. Sells has extensive experience as a keynote speaker for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the National Association of Social Workers the Southeastern Psychological Association, and others. He was invited to be one of six expert presenters at the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy’s prestigious Summer Institutes as well as the world-renowned Cape Cod Institute. Dr. Sells is currently the founder and model developer of an evidence based model know Parenting with Love and Limits® (PLL). PLL is being used by both juvenile justice and child welfare in over 14 states and in Europe.

Ellen Souder, MA, LPCC-S, holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling and is a gifted family therapist, trainer and public speaker. She has traveled extensively over the past 10 years, conducting seminars and trainings for professional clinicians throughout the United States and Europe. Ellen worked alongside Dr. Scott Sells in the development of the evidence-based Parenting with Love and Limits® treatment model which encompasses the FST Treatment model. Her personal childhood experience with trauma as well as experience in providing treatment for traumatized youth and families through the years provided unique insight in the co-authoring of this book. Ellen currently serves as Vice President of Parenting with Love and Limits (PLL) and has overseen the clinical implementation of PLL and the FST Model in over 50 agencies or organizations throughout the United States and Europe.

Table of Contents 


Chapter 1. Why a Family Systems Trauma (FST) Model?

Chapter 2. Who Are Our Traumatized Children?

    Family Systems Theory within the FST Model

Chapter 3. The Family Systems Trauma (FST) Model

Part II: Specific Techniques and Strategies

Chapter 4: The FST Motivational Phone Call

Chapter 5: Phase I - Identify Symptoms (Stressors) & Set the Goals for Therapy

Chapter 6. Pre-Session Preparation for Phase II

Chapter 7. Phase II - Wound Work Introduction

Chapter 8. Pre-Session Preparation for Phase III

Chapter 9. Phase III - Co-Create Playbooks

Chapter 10. Pre-Session Preparation for Phase IV

Chapter 11. Phase IV - Troubleshooting and Dress Rehearsals

Chapter 12. Pre-Session Preparation for Phase V

Chapter 13. Phase V - Evaluate Progress and Relapse Prevention