For the past decade JFCS’ Child Training Institute (CTI) has served as an international resource and training center for mental health professionals who treat children who are dealing with emotional, psychological, and developmental challenges, as well as those who have experienced trauma. The institute has trained over a thousand mental health professionals, helping countless children and families heal and thrive.
Trauma can result from a variety of experiences: chronic exposure to violence, the loss of a parent, a natural disaster, or a terrorist act. JFCS’ long history of expertise in trauma treatment includes helping Holocaust survivors, refugees, children living in war zones in Israel, and women and children who have survived domestic violence.
CTI began as a partnership with UCSF’s Alicia Lieberman, Ph.D, to train other practitioners in her treatment approach, which combines cutting-edge research with proven methods in treating trauma.
Earlier this fall CTI celebrated its 10 years of training mental health professionals in the art of child treatment and healing child trauma by honoring Lieberman for her groundbreaking work.
Beth Berkowitz, Psy.D, JFCS’ Director of Children’s Clinical Services and CTI, says it can be challenging for those working with traumatized children. That’s why CTI supports the professionals—including clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists—who are, in turn, helping children and their families.
Beth says traumatic experiences in early childhood can result in cognitive and emotional delays that can affect a person for life, but that recent research reveals that our brains can change in a significant positive direction through psychotherapy.
Lasting Impact for Children’s Wellbeing
“We can now identify specific changes in the brain during and following intervention,” says Beth. “This gives us great hope. If we can reach children early on, we can make changes that will have a significant and lasting impact on children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.”
“CTI is an outstanding program that is innovative in the field, with far-reaching implications to improve the lives of children and their families,” adds Dr. Ingrid Tauber, whose philanthropic fund helped establish the program. “By joining together with JFCS, Alicia Lieberman and CTI have had a profound impact over the past 10 years.”
Funding for JFCS’ Child Training Institute has been provided by generous individuals and foundations, with leadership from the Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund and Ingrid Tauber/ Laszlo N. Tauber Family Fund.