Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET)

Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Promising Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Adolescents, Adults
Anger, Anxiety, Emotional Competency, Life Stress, PTSD, Relationships, Social Competency
Target Audience 

This program is for adult and adolescent survivors of physical, sexual, psychological, and emotional trauma.


Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET) utilizes education and therapy to target post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology in participants and treat participants by helping them identify and utilize their strengths to make healthy decisions and create and maintain healthy relationships.


Several randomized controlled trials evaluating TARGET's effectiveness were identified. One study of trauma-exposed mothers with young children revealed findings that were consistently positive with regard to significant decreased PTSD symptomatology and increased affect regulation skills at post-treatment and up to 6 months after program completion compared to another active treatment group and a wait-list control group. This suggests that this may be a promising treatment for PTSD in adult women. Another study with a sample of delinquent girls showed some similar results for reductions in trauma symptoms but was less clear with regard to increases in affect regulation skills. Sustainability was not assessed in this study.


TARGET includes three main features of therapy:

  • Provides skills to help participants manage psychological, relational, and work/ school problems; 
  • Identifies differences between normal and extreme stress; and 
  • Implements the Seven FREEDOM Steps. 

The Seven FREEDOM Steps include the following: 

  1. Focus - slow down, orient, self-check; 
  2. Recognize the trigger; 
  3. Emotional self-check; 
  4. Evaluate thoughts; 
  5. Define goals; 
  6. Options - how to respond; and 
  7. Make a contribution - take control.
Previous Use 

TARGET has been used in the juvenile justice system in Connecticut, Florida, and Maine and among adult and child mental health and addiction agencies. Since 2000, over 20,000 individuals have participated in this program at over 120 sites.


Two levels of training are required and occur at the site of the program. Level one is an introductory TARGET training that lasts 3 days. Level two training also lasts 3 days and includes skills integration training. The cost of these trainings is $2,720 per day per trainer for up to 20 participants. On-site training, quality assurance, and follow-up site visits are required. On-site assessment and planning, outcomes measurement, and monitoring consultation are optional.


Considerations for implementing TARGET include obtaining funding for training and cost of materials and understanding this program requires an extensive time commitment for facilitators.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


If you are interested in implementing TARGET, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you! Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


There are 12 weekly therapy sessions that last 50 minutes each.


The cost of materials is approximately $326. Quality assurance and review meetings cost $340 per hour.

Evaluation Plan 

To move the TARGET program to the Effective category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence at least one external evaluation must be conducted that demonstrates sustained, positive outcomes. This study must be conducted independently of the program developer.

Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals. Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program. Phone: 1-877-382-9185 Email:

You may also contact Advanced Trauma Solutions, Inc., by phone 1-860-269-8663, email, or visit

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.