Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS)
Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) is a part of Evidence-based Practices.
SPARCS stands for Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress. SPARCS is a 16-session group intervention that was specifically designed to address the needs of chronically traumatized adolescents who may still be living with ongoing stress and may be experiencing problems in several areas of functioning. These areas include difficulties with affect regulation and impulsivity, self-perception, relationships, somatization, dissociation, numbing and avoidance, and struggles with their own purpose and meaning in life as well as worldviews that make it difficult for them to see a future for themselves. Overall goals of the program are to help teens cope more effectively in the moment, enhance self-efficacy, connect with others and establish supportive relationships, cultivate awareness, and create meaning in their lives. Group members learn and practice each of the core SPARCS skills throughout the intervention and frequently report use of these skills outside of group. Core components of this intervention include Mindfulness practice, relationship building/communication skills, Distress Tolerance, and Problem-solving and Meaning Making. Treatment also includes psychoeducation regarding stress, trauma, and triggers.