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What is ARC?

Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency is a type of intervention for children and youth who have experienced complex trauma. Complex trauma refers to events that have been severe, numerous, or have gone on for a long time. The three domains of attachment, self -regulation, and competency are often affected during traumatic events, and this therapy focuses on principles that help to strengthen these areas and build resilient youth.

Who can use ARC?

ARC is designed for children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 22 who have significant emotional and behavioral problems related to a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events. Similar to TF-CBT, ARC can be used with children in a variety of settings, including outpatient, inpatient, school, foster care, group homes, and juvenile justice.

How does ARC work?

Therapy with ARC typically lasts between 12 and 52 sessions and can include individual, group, or family treatment. Unlike the other evidence-based therapies, the ARC framework is built upon 10 core building blocks:

  1. Learning to manage underlying feelings, emotions, and moods as a caregiver
  2. Reacting to another person’s emotional needs and moods (i.e. attunement)
  3. Understanding the importance of a consistent response
  4. Building routines and rituals
  5. Identifying underlying feelings, emotions, and moods
  6. Regulating underlying feelings, emotions, and moods
  7. Expressing underlying feelings, emotions, and moods
  8. Achieving developmental milestones
  9. Improving your child’s executive functions (i.e. decision making, problem solving, planning, etc.)
  10. Focusing on your child’s self-development

What are the benefits of ARC?

  • Reduces your child’s post-traumatic stress symptoms (i.e. nightmares, lack of positive emotions, easily frightened, etc.)
  • Reduces your child’s anxiety and depression
  • Builds upon your child’s adaptive and social skills
  • Enhances caregiver’s support for their children