Alternatives for Families: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Program/Intervention Name

Alternatives for Families: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Behavioral Management and Treatment, Family Functioning

Program/Intervention Description

What: AF-CBT is designed to improve the relationships between children and caregivers in families involved in arguments, frequent conflict, physical force/discipline, or child physical abuse. Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (originally named Abuse-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) is designed for families who are referred for problems related to the management of anger and/or aggression, or use of coercion and/or physical force. How: AF-CBT services can be provided in the home, an outpatient clinic, a hospital, a residential facility or a school. There is no typical outpatient course of treament and treatment lenght may vary. It is recommended that one or two hour sessions are completed weekly. Parents and children are expected to complete homework assignments designed to facilitate skill acquisition and to provide feedback of treatment methods.

Intervention Target Population Identified (Age Group)

0-5, 6-12, 13-17

Program Goals/Outcomes

1) Improve caregiver-child relationships, 2) Strengthen healthy parenting practices, 3) Enhance children's coping and social skills, 4) Maintain family safety, 5) Reduce coercive processes (anger, verbal aggression, threats of force, emotional abuse) by caregivers and other family members, 6) Reduce use of physical force (aggressive behavior) by caregivers, child and, if relevant, other family member, 7) Reduce child physical abuse risk or recidivism (prevention of child welfare system involvement or repeated reports/allegations), 8) Improve child safety/welfare and family functioning.

QIC Target Group

General - 3

QIC Adoption/Guardianship Relevance Levels

LEVEL 4: Foster Care

QIC level of Evidence

LEVEL 2: Supported by Research

Intervention Web Site/URL

Contact Person/Purveyor

David J. Kolko, PhD, ABPP


University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine

Contact Email

Contact Phone

(412) 246-5888

External Links (Registry/Other Catalog)

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