The Justice System and the Behavioral Health professions do not always see eye-to-eye when it comes to approaches when managing system-involved youth. Dr. Michael Gomez provides guidelines to both justice and behavioral health folks on how to collaborate effectively for the best outcomes for juvenile and family cases.
Dr. Michael Gomez specializes in Trauma-Focused CBT, the treatment of adolescents with problematic sexual behaviors (PSB), PCIT, TARGET, and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). He is one of the 70 nationally Certified TF-CBT trainers, a certified CE-CERT Trainer and PCIT therapist, and trained in the assessment and diagnosis of ASD.
Specifics of his discussion touched on:
- How challenges faced by probation workers highlight the need for improved communication between legal and medical professionals.
- How the effectiveness of therapy varies and how some programs like evidence-based treatment are notably more effective than traditional ones.
- The call for higher standards in therapy and the central role of courts in this by mandating evidence-based practices.
- To whom the responsibility lies for ineffective therapy modalities.
- The value in ensuring therapists use evidence-based therapy.
- The critical role of the caregiver in therapy, who are considered caregivers, and what caregivers must ask service providers.
- The essential components of good child therapy.
- Resources to look for evidence-based therapy modalities and practitioners.
- An overview of the common barriers to effective collaboration between justice professionals and therapists.
- Reminders for justice system and behavioral health professionals when it comes to working with each other in terms of:
- Lack of training on both sides on the nuances of the other parties’ processes when it comes to paperwork.
- The lack of familiarity of therapists on the testifying protocols and the need to educate them on court procedures.
- The need for behavioral health professionals to provide summaries and seek prep session/s before testifying.
- The steps that a therapist must go through to assess and provide a system-involved youth with the tools needed to deal with trauma.
- The therapist’s role to empower the kid and not force them to talk.
- The algorithm that behavioral health professionals use to get a kid to a place where they can provide compelling court testimonies.
- The importance of working on the common ground of the justice and behavioral health system to do what’s most effective and best for the justice-involved individual.
- How therapists facilitate healing and success by being a supportive presence for individuals on their journey to recovery.
Questions from the webinar attendees are about:
- Working on getting caregivers to participate in the therapeutic process.
- Recommendations for substance abuse counselors dealing with kids using heavy drugs like fentanyl.
- Programs and certifications to look into for evidence-based therapeutic modalities.
Other Webinars with this Presenter
- June 15: Beyond Self-Care: The CE-CERT Model for Secondary Trauma and Burnout
- Nov 3: Intervening with Trauma and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in Families
- Feb 7, 2023: “My court date is next week:” How We Can Best Help Traumatized Youth in Legal Sphere
- April 25: “They didn’t teach us this in law school:” How to Create a Legitimate Trauma-Informed Court
- Sept 12: The Magic Decoder Ring: How Criminal Justice can Work Better with Therapists and Psychologists for Youth and Family Cases (this webinar)
Resources and Handouts
- Resource: National Child Traumatic Stress Network (Criminal Justice section)
- Resource: NCTSN Learning Center
- Resource: National Center for Sexual Behavior of Youth
- Resource: California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse
- Resource: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Resource: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) International
- “The amount of scientific research graduate students are required to have. The Presenter was extremely thorough and his enthusiasm in covering the topic was AWESOME!!!” — Vivian
- “The language between therapist and justice staff. I am a justice staff but I am hiring a peer support specialist and a clinician. We are not familiar with one another’s roles.” — Robin
- “The most important thing I learned is how Police can work with therapists and psychologists.” — Stephanie
- The training (or lack thereof) that therapists get and what I, as a CASA, or attorney, should request of a therapist — Susan
- “The presenter was well-versed in their subject area.” — Jessica
- “Good questions to ask the counselor! This was very valuable to my work!” — Galena
- “The most valuable thing that I have learned from this webinar was about how people react to therapy and why, each person who goes through issues deals with therapy their own way. It was good to hear from your experience what therapy truly is and what it’s about.” — Erin