Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET) is an educational and psychotherapeutic intervention for adults, adolescents, and families that is designed to prevent and treat traumatic stress disorders; co-occurring addictive, affective, personality, or psychotic disorders; and adjustment disorders related to other types of stressors.
The program comprises a seven-step sequence of skills based on a psychobiological metamodel, the FREEDOM Steps. This model enables participants to recognize, understand, and gain control of stress reactions by enhancing their adaptive capacities for emotion regulation, mental focusing, executive function, mindfulness, and interpersonal engagement and interaction. The purpose of this skill sequence is to offer a systematic approach to processing current life experiences and trauma- or stressor-related symptoms without intensive trauma-memory processing; however, it can also be used to enhance trauma-memory processing and narrative reconstruction. Steps are grouped to allow participants to 1) learn and practice skills with the therapist; and 2) rehearse and apply the skills to anticipate, prevent, and manage symptoms that can arise in real-life situations.
There is also a manualized protocol for delivering brief (4-session; T4) and time-limited (10- to14-session) versions of the program, which can be provided as individual or group psychotherapy within a variety of settings. TARGET has been adapted to be gender-specific, culturally responsive, and attuned to the needs of youths and adults who have experienced specific types of trauma, including childhood trauma, sexual trauma, domestic violence, community violence, sexual-identity-related trauma, or military trauma.