Mental Health Services
ChicagoCAC’s mental health team helps children heal from the trauma of abuse. Therapists create a comfortable, safe space for children to tell their trauma stories, identify and overcome challenges, develop positive coping skills and build healthy relationships.
ChicagoCAC therapists use the Attachment, Self-regulation and Competency (ARC) and Integrated Treatment for Complex Trauma (ITCT) treatment modalities, which are trauma-informed, sanctioned by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and known to be effective. Because each child responds to trauma differently, these modalities focus on meeting the child where they are, and they provide general guidelines for care through art, play or conversation.
Initially, the therapist works with the child and caregiver to identify challenges, which may include nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, dissociation, hypervigilance, self-blame, aggression, low self-esteem, hyperactivity or depression. Through weekly sessions with the child and regular check-ins with the caregiver, the therapist builds a healthy, trusting relationship with the family. They work together to develop ways for the child to overcome the trauma of the abuse he or she has experienced, including building a positive self-image, learning positive coping skills, learning to control and express emotions, and building healthy relationships.