Somatic Experiencing® at CPS
A few years ago Jerry Allen and I ran a pilot program to use bring Somatic Experiencing® for families engaged in Children’s Protective Services beginning in Sonoma County, CA. Using the SE Brief Stabilization Model we developed with Ariel Giaretto specifically for the child welfare setting, we wanted to offer a brief, cost-effective alternative designed to improve family outcomes. This SE model works side by side with other offerings with the intention of contributing to the overall effectiveness of services that the client families receive.
Two sets of goals guided the implementation of our SE brief model. The parents help establish the first set of goals:
a) Parents’ self-reported symptoms ease.
b) Parents achieve stated goals such as “I want to find alternatives to losing my temper with my children.”
c) Parents can self-regulate much more of the time.
The client family’s social worker tracks the second set of goals established so that the parents achieve an adequate level of parenting:
a) Parents attune better with their children.
b) Parents become better able to protect their children.
c) Parents demonstrate improved ability to meet child’s needs.
d) Parents receive services more effectively.
We selected client families based on the following criteria:
a) The family has one or more primary caregivers in place who can receive services.
b) One or more primary caregivers have PTSD that impedes good parenting skills.
c) Caregivers show a willingness to learn new skills.
d) Caregivers are open to something different.
e) Caregivers receiving SE sessions are on minimal medication such that tracking change is possible and the change sticks.