Attachment, Self-Regulation, Competency (ARC)

Attachment, Self-Regulation, Competency (ARC)

ARC is a framework for intervention with youth and families who have experienced multiple and/or prolonged traumatic stress developed by the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute (www.traumacenter.org), the institute founded by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, expert in childhood trauma. ARC, developed by Kristine M. Kinniburgh and Margaret E. Blaustein of the Trauma Center at JRI, identifies three core domains that are frequently impaired in traumatized children and youth – attachment, self-regulation and competency. ARC provides a theoretical framework, core principles of intervention, and a guiding structure for providers working with these children and their caregivers, while recognizing that a one-size-model does not fit all.

ARC is recognized by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) as a promising practice for treating traumatized children. It is not a standardized protocol, but rather is a flexible framework, menu-based approach. Within the three core domains (attachment, self-regulation, and competency), ten building blocks of trauma-informed treatment and service are identified. 

Attachment
Caregiver Affect Management
Attunement
Consistent Response
Routines and Rituals

Self-Regulation
Affect Identification
Affect Modulation
Affect Expression

Competency
Developmental Tasks
Executive Functions
Self Development

Preliminary data from pilot studies indicate that ARC leads to reduction in child post-traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety, and depression, as well as increased adaptive and social skills. Caregivers report reduced distress and view their children’s behaviors as less dysfunctional. See the Trauma Center website for more information.

Links:

The Trauma Center at JRI 
Intervention Beyond the Child: The Intertwining Nature of Attachment and Trauma
New York Times Opinion Page article from Dr. van der Kolk 

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