Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State

Integrating AAT into TF-CBT for Maltreated Children

This is an NICHD funded studying examining whether the integration of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) into Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) may enhance treatment outcomes. TF-CBT is a well-validated and often utilized treatment for posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and other concerns among children that may develop following abuse. AAT is gaining popularity among many clinicians, but it is unclear whether the use of AAT provides additional benefits beyond using an evidence-based treatment, such as TF-CBT. This randomized controlled trial will test this idea while also examining a number of other potential moderators and mediators of TF-CBT response, including psychophysical stress arousal, attachment processes, and therapeutic rapport.

Research Team

Profile photo for Brian Allen, Psy.D.
Brian Allen, Psy.D.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry

Director of Mental Health Services, Center for the Protection of Children

Profile photo for Chad Shenk, Ph.D.
Chad Shenk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies