Evidenced Based Practices

Pathways of Pennsylvania embraces evidence-based treatment models. Select models are tapped based on appropriateness with consideration of consumer needs. Evidence-based programs are techniques proven effective and which offer implementation guidance to staff. The outcomes, or success of individual treatment models, are well documented and have been closely scrutinized to insure optimal return on investment.


Specific evidence-based programs used by the Pathways of Pennsylvania include:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  • Seeking Safety

CPT — Cognitive Processing Therapy:

Short-term evidenced based treatment for persons with PTSD or a history of trauma. The goals of CPT are to improve PTSD symptoms along with associated depression, anxiety, guilt, and shame often resulting from trauma. It is also intended to assist people to improve day-to-day living toward a more balanced, recovery oriented life. This specialized therapy focuses first on education about PTSD and its related thoughts and emotions and then moves toward processing the impact of the trauma, learning to challenge “stuck points” in recovery, identifying trauma themes affecting quality of life, and developing skills to move forward. Treatment is highly structured and is completed in 12 weekly sessions with a CPT trained therapist and every session includes assessment tools to measure progress as well as between session assignments to enhance mastery of skills for more rapid improvement of symptoms.

PCIT — Parent Child Interaction Therapy:

Evidence based treatment backed by extensive research showing its effectiveness in reducing difficult or defiant behaviors in children ages 2-7 years old. PCIT systematically helps parents build on positive skills through the use of live weekly coaching sessions with a PCIT trained therapist using a one way mirror and audio ear bud to assist parents(s) in practicing and mastering required skills. The first treatment phase promotes positive parent-child interactions to build their relationship; the second phase increases parent ability to give effective commands and respond appropriately to disobedience. Gaining skills is monitored through in-session coding and progress toward individual goals is confirmed using rating and coding scales. Every session is followed up with in-home assignments to further development and most parents complete treatment within 15-20 sessions. Treatment can be completed by one or both parents with the child. Research has shown PCIT to be an effective non-pharmaceutical treatment in reducing difficult child behaviors which occur at home or in school including aggression, defiance, inattention, not following direction, or poor communication skills. It also has been shown to increase parents’ ability to give effective commands, set reasonable limits, and respond appropriately to defiance or breaking of house rules. Additionally, PCIT can assist children with other needs such as history of trauma, attachment issues, or anxiety difficulties.

Seeking Safety:

Present-focused, evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment for PTSD and substance abuse. This approach to the treatment of PTSD and trauma recognizes the high prevalence of co-occurring substance use and misuse as survivors of trauma try to gain control and manage symptoms; however, issues with substance use does not need to be present in order to benefit from Seeking Safety. The primary goal of Seeking Safety is to restore ideals and hope by introducing empowerment based modules focused on learning and practicing new skills. There are 25 modules that address interpersonal relationships, supports, and coping skills. Clients can benefit from completing a few modules or all of them and often work jointly with their therapist to determine what is best for them. Every module provides practical information, including handouts to take home, which address issues people are often dealing with following trauma. Some examples of topics covered include: Recovery Thinking, Taking Good Care of Yourself, Healthy Relationships, and Healing from Anger. Clients can work on these modules in individual therapy at their own pace and Seeking Safety is also offered in group therapy where individuals can learn and practice new strategies to promote recovery with the support of others.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) :

Treatment backed by decades of research using single subject designs. ABA is used throughout many of our service lines. Specifically, in our Behavioral Health and Rehabilitative Services, we are using ABA to treat children and adolescents diagnosed with autism. Our team of professionals are completing Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA’s) and working with team members to develop a comprehensive behavior plan focusing on skill acquisition and learning. The primary goal of ABA is to teach skills by changing the environmental factors contributing to behavior.