Virtual Training- Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Two and a half day virtual training in Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AFCBT) with Monica Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

About this Event

Alternatives For Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy:

Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) is a trauma-informed, evidence-based treatment (EBT) designed to improve the relationships among youth and caregivers in families. AF-CBT uses a comprehensive approach that targets the risks for conflict and coercion and the clinical consequences of exposure.  AF-CBT is applicable for a broad range of families. A family with any of the following may be eligible for AF-CBT:

  • A family or caregiver and child who experience frequent conflicts, arguments, angry feelings, or explosiveness.
  • A caregiver who uses or has used harsh physical force or discipline, or worries about doing something that could injure/hurt a child, or has a history of physical or emotional abuse involving one of his/her children.
  • A child (5-17 years old) who exhibits challenging behaviors such as not listening, fighting, hard to manage, or who shows trauma symptoms (e, g., posttraumatic stress) related to interpersonal trauma.

Many eligible families who receive AF-CBT also experience other challenges such as living in different residences, domestic disputes, substance use, incarceration, and/or prior traumatic experiences. For a complete overview of AF-CBT, please see the overview on the AF-CBT website:


Components of AF-CBT:

To reach a family’s individualized goals, treatment providers deliver content in 3 phases: 1) Engagement & Psychoeducation, 2) Individual Skill-Building, and 3) Family Applications. Providers teach skills on 12 specific topics (ALTERNATIVES) designed for the caregiver, child, or both together, as follows:

Alliance Building

Learning About Feelings & Family   

Talking About Parenting     

Emotions & Relaxation   

Reviewing Thoughts     

Noticing Positive Behavior     

Assertiveness & Social Skills       

Techniques for Managing Behavior       

 Imaginal Exposure         

Verbalizing Healthy Communication         

Enhancing Safety           

Solving Family Problems

Learning Objectives:

With AF-CBT training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify families appropriate for AF-CBT
  • Administer, score, & interpret standardized measures appropriate for AF-CBT & provide feed-back to families based on the results
  • Use functional behavioral analysis & integrate these findings in AF-CBT treatment planning & delivery
  • Educate caregivers & youth to overcome barriers to treatment participation
  • Incorporate into treatment the history, culture, needs, and developmental capacities of the child or caregiver being served

Virtual Training in AF-CBT:

This interactive training is offered in two and half days of virtual training and one half day of booster training delivered virtually approximately 6 months following initial training.

Training will be conducted on Zoom. To support effective implementation, monthly consultation calls are offered for therapists and supervisors. The trainer also reviews 2 audio-recorded AF-CBT therapy sessions and provides support and feedback. The training components offered meet the requirements for the AF-CBT Therapist Certification Program (www.afcbt.org).

Virtual Training Includes:

  • 2.5 days of initial virtual training
  • Monthly 1-hour clinical consultation calls for 12 months
  • ½ day of advanced virtual training 6 months after initial training
  • Q&A by e-mail
  • Detailed feedback of submitted session audio
  • Lifetime access to the online AF-CBT resource library (A $75 cost included in the price of training).

Evidence for AF-CBT:

After receiving AF-CBT, parents have reported less child-to-parent and parent-to-child violence, children have shown fewer externalizing symptoms and improved social competence, and families have reported less conflict and more cohesion. Other outcomes include greater perceptions of child safety, lowering risk for child physical abuse and repeated abuse. The program is rated as promising. (http://www.afcbt.org/materials/Downloads/AF-CBT%20Full%20Overview%20v4_GEN-18.pdf)

About the Trainer:

Dr. Fitzgerald is a Senior Research Associate and licensed clinical psychologist at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Fitzgerald is a certified, expert trainer in AF-CBT and TF-CBT. She regularly conducts trainings and provides consultation for these models nationally and internationally.

For more information about Dr. Fitzgerald or the Center For Resilience and Well-Being in Schools, please visit: https://ibsweb.colorado.edu/crw/

Training Schedule & Location:

Monday January 11, 2021, 2021: 8:30am -1:30pm MOUNTAIN TIME

Thursday January 14, 2021: 8:30am-2:30pm MOUNTAIN TIME

Friday January 22, 2021: 8:30am-2:30pm MOUNTAIN TIME

Six month follow-up advanced training date to be determined.

Prepare for Training:

To prepare for AF-CBT training, participants must:

• Complete the Pre-Training Assessment form, which can be found at: www.afcbt.org/training/online%20training%20links

• Complete the Pre-Training Orientation videos and quizzes at: https://learn.nctsn.org/course/index.php?categoryid=70

To download Zoom free of charge, please visit: https://zoom.us/download

Registration Fee:

Registration for training and consultation costs $1,275.00 per participant.  AF-CBT training is for mental health professionals with a Master's degree or higher.  If you are enrolled in a Master's program as a student, see discount below.  We also offer discounts for Early Career.

  • Students- students may attend the AF-CBT training and consultation for $700.00 with proof of current student ID or transcript.  To request this rate please contact Brooke Guarienti by email at Brooke.Guarienti@colorado.edu. 
  • Early Career (you've graduated with your Master's in the past 2 years)- early career professionals may attend the AF-CBT training and consultation for $1075.00 with proof of graduation (e.g. diploma).  To request this rate please contact Brooke Guarienti by email at Brooke.Guarienti@colorado.edu. 
  • Groups: If you are interested in registering a group of 5 or more clinicians for this training, please contact Brooke Guarient at Brooke.Guarienti@Colorado.edu.

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