Virtual Training- Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Three 1/2 days (16 hour) virtual training in Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AFCBT) with Monica Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

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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 three half days (16 hours) 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 (

Virtual Training Includes:

  • 3 half days (16 hours) 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. (

About the Trainers:

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, please visit:

Dr. Barbara Baumann, PhD is a clinical and developmental psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Baumann is a national trainer and consultant with the team that has developed and disseminated Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT). She is also the developer of Alternatives for Professionals (AFP), an intervention designed to assist case support professionals in engaging and working with families exhibiting high levels of aggression or child physical abuse. To date, she has conducted over 50 synchronous in-person and online trainings in AF-CBT and trained clinicians and supervisors from across the United States and the world, including Singapore, Egypt, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Kenya, and Bermuda. She is the principal investigator for a feasibility study of a novel cognitive intervention for autistic children. Her primary interests are in the successful dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments and in building community collaborations to bridge science and practice.

Training Schedule & Location:

Thursday October 14, 2021: 8:30am -1:30pm MOUNTAIN TIME

Friday October 15, 2021: 8:30am-2:30pm MOUNTAIN TIME

Monday October 18, 2021: 8:30am-1:30pm 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:

• Complete the Pre-Training Orientation videos and quizzes at:

To download Zoom free of charge, please visit:

Registration Fee:

Registration for training and consultation costs $1,250.00 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 Niama Al-Nima by email at 
  • 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 Niama Al-Nima by email at 
  • Groups: 10% discount for groups of 10 or more. If you are interested in registering a group of 10 or more clinicians for this training, please contact Niama Al-Nima at
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Organizer EBPTI - CU Boulder Institute Of Behavioral Science

Organizer of Virtual Training- Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Evidence-Based Practices Training Initiative (EBPTI) aims to disseminate culturally-responsive trauma-focused evidence-based practices by providing training and implementation support to mental health agencies and other organizations throughout Colorado, nationally, and internationally. The EBPTI has trained thousands of Colorado mental health providers in evidence-based trauma screening, assessment and interventions.

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