Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Document Type


Publication Date



Clinical psychological science has developed many efficacious treatments for diverse emotional and behavioral difficulties encountered by children and adolescents, although randomized trials investigating these treatments have disproportionally been conducted by American, university-based research labs. The subsection of the world population involved in these studies, however, represents very few people among those in need of psychological services whose voices, perspectives, and orientations to therapy have not generally been reflected in well-funded research trials. Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based services designed to meet the needs of this broader global population, therefore, may require cultural and contextual adaptation to be successful. The current article describes the implementation of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) in 3 separate low-resourced settings (rural South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador) utilizing the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS) framework and guided by a community-based participatory research framework. Emphasis is placed on description of program development, building collaborative and responsive partnerships, and the use of implementation strategies to guide continuous quality improvement. Program evaluation data comparing baseline to posttreatment trauma symptoms and treatment completion rates for all sites are also presented, which suggests that treatment was associated with a large reduction in symptoms, exceeding that noted in many TF-CBT randomized trials. The implications of attention to context, adaptation, and methods of building partnerships with global communities are discussed, with a particular focus on propelling more refined models and controlled studies in the future.


© 2020, American Psychological Association. This manuscript is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the final, authoritative version of the article. Please do not copy or cite without authors’ permission. The final version of record is available via its DOI:

Publication Title

American Psychologist


Included in

Psychology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.