University of Texas at Austin

Building Resiliency after Trauma

Building Resiliency after Trauma is an initiative of Texas Mental Health Transformation, a statewide effort to improve the Texas mental health system funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The goal of the Building Resiliency project is to support the adoption & implementation of an evidence-based child trauma treatment, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), in two Texas communities (Fort Worth and Austin). The Department of State Health Services has contracted with researchers at the Center for Social Work Research to implement and evaluate the project.

TF-CBT has been shown in several rigorous studies to result in better outcomes than treatment-as-usual, supportive therapy, or play therapy. Through a learning collaborative framework, clinicians and clinical supervisors receive training and technical assistance in TF-CBT, and agencies receive support in identifying and removing barriers to service implementation. Children and families involved in the project will receive treatment through the participating agencies. Treatment aims to reduce trauma-related symptoms and increase children’s resiliency.

An evaluation of the Building Resiliency after Trauma initiative will assess the effectiveness of TF-CBT when disseminated to community providers. In addition, the impact of two alternative clinician coaching strategies will be compared to determine if one strategy results in superior treatment fidelity or youth outcomes. The study design includes assessments with parents and youth at three time points – when entering treatment, at the end of treatment, and 12 months from the beginning of treatment. Youth complete measures of personal strengths and resilience, trauma-related symptoms, and thoughts and feelings about the trauma. Parents also report on the child’s strengths and resilience, trauma-related symptoms, emotional and behavioral problems and parental distress following the trauma. In addition, measures of therapist adherence or fidelity to the treatment model are collected.

Partners in this effort include:

•  The University of Texas Center for Social Work Research

•  Texas Mental Health Transformation

•  Department of State Health Services

•  Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County

•  The Children’s Partnership, and

•  18 Participating Community Agencies


The website for the Building Resiliency initiative is located at:

Recent newsletters are on the website or can be accessed here:


Molly A. Lopez, Ph.D., is the principal investigator on this project.

Addiction Research Institute

Center for Social Work Research
School of Social Work
University of Texas at Austin
1717 West 6th Street, Suite 335
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 232-0616
FAX: (512) 232-0617

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