Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) Clinical Services

Recognized by the NCTSN as a promising practice, ARC is a comprehensive framework for intervention with youth exposed to complex trauma. Intervention is tailored to each client's needs and may include individual and group therapy for children, education for caregivers, parent-child sessions, and parent workshops.

The Training Institute sponsors an ARC workshop for individuals who are interested in hands-on participation, didactic training, case application and experiential activities. Please contact Dr. Margaret Blaustein, Ph.D (617) 232-1303 x214 for more information.

For clinical services using ARC framework, please contact our clinical intake line (617-232-0687), and indicate your interest in working with a clinician who is trained in ARC.

What is ARC?

ARC is a framework for intervention with youth and families who have experienced multiple and/or prolonged traumatic stress. ARC identifies three core domains that are frequently impacted among traumatized youth, and which are relevant to future resiliency. ARC provides a theoretical framework, core principles of intervention, and a guiding structure for providers working with these children and their caregivers, while recognizing that a one-size-model does not fit all. ARC is designed for youth from early childhood to adolescence and their caregivers or caregiving systems.

For a detailed interview about ARC framework, click here

How is ARC different from a manualized protocol?

ARC is a flexible framework, rather than a protocolized intervention. Within the three core domains (attachment, self-regulation, and competency), ten building blocks of trauma-informed treatment and service are identified. ARC is a menu-based approach. For each principle, the ARC manual provides key concepts and guiding theoretical structure, educational information for providers and caregivers, specific tools for clinicians, and developmental considerations.

What does ARC target?

The ARC framework is built around the following ten building blocks:


Attachment Self-Regulation Competency
  • Caregiver Affect Management
  • Attunement
  • Consistent Response
  • Routines and Rituals
  • Affect Identification
  • Affect Modulation
  • Affect Expression
  • Developmental Tasks
  • Executive Functions
  • Self Development

Preliminary data from pilot studies indicate that ARC leads to reduction in child posttraumatic stress symptoms, anxiety, and depression, as well as increased adaptive and social skills. Caregivers report reduced distress and view their children’s behaviors as less dysfunctional.

Is ARC only for clinicians?

The goal of creating the ARC framework was to identify key principles that translate across service system settings. For instance, when applying the attachment principles within outpatient therapy, a clinician may be working with a biological, foster, or adoptive caregiver. Within a milieu setting, systemic staff may take on the role of caregiver. Although application will vary, the principles remain the same. ARC principles have successfully been applied in a range of settings, including outpatient clinics, residential treatment centers, schools, and day programs.

How can I learn more about ARC?

The ARC manual and affiliated handouts are available for purchase on the Publications & Products section of the web site.

Training and consultation in the ARC model, geared toward the needs of your agency or organization, may be arranged.

If you wish to read more about ARC, please refer to the following publications:

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