Classroom-Community-Culture Based Intervention

Classroom-Community-Culture Based Intervention (CBI®) is a 4-week 12-session classroom-clinic-camp-based group intervention, involving a series of highly structured expressive-behavioral activities.

The aim of these activities is to significantly reduce traumatic stress reactions, anxiety, fear and depressed moods, by allowing and guiding children to do what they do best: playing, learning and creative problem solving. The CBI® structural design is derived from both old and new evidence-based research in the Classical Conditioning, Anxiety Disorders, Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) literature. Prior studies indicate that the reduction of acute traumatic stress reactions coupled with the consistent reduction of arousal symptoms may significantly decrease overall the negative effects of extremely difficult or life threatening experiences.

The ultimate goal of the CBI® is to bring about (1) immediate short-term reduction in potentially harmful traumatic stress reactions as well as (2) longer-term preventive effects such as increasing a child’s ability to problem solve, engage in social perspective taking 1and sustain increased self-esteem and positive self and social concept. The expected (immediate) results include (1) a significant decrease in aggressive behaviors, sleep disturbances, concentration difficulties, and intrusive recall of the traumatic events, and (2) an increase in the sense of safety, self-esteem, hope, self-control, and willingness to sustain meaningful peer and adult relationships. In other words, CBI® was not developed to prevent PTSD or other major behavioral health disorders but rather CBI® aims to identify existing coping resources among children and youth facing difficult circumstances, and to sustain the utilization of those resources in the service of psychological and psychosocial recovery over time.

CBI® was originated and continues to be developed by the International Trauma Center (ITC). ITC teams have designed, launched and currently manage child and youth trauma response networks, utilizing CBI® as a psychosocial intervention program in the United States, Turkey, West Bank & Gaza, Israel, Jordan, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Sudan, Uganda, and Burundi to assist with ongoing efforts to provide school, community and tribal based clinical and psychosocial interventions to successfully care for youth exposed to psychological trauma resulting from suicide, homicide and gang violence, armed conflict, ethnic cleansing, displacement and homelessness, terrorism, genocide, and natural disasters such as the hurricanes , storms, earthquakes.

CBI® was especially designed and developed to be implemented in schools and community centers in order to assist teachers and administrators with stabilization and resiliency building during the school day or in after school time utilizing curriculum design similar to the current educational models.


1This essentially refers to a child’s capability to understand or take on somebody else’s perspective.