CPP Newsletter

Winter 2021

For other editions of the CPP Newsletter, click here.

CTRP's new home:

UCSF Nancy Friend Pritzker Psychiatry Building

675 18th Street, San Francisco

Here's to You

This year, in the middle of the holiday season, I find myself reflecting fondly on holidays past and pre-COVID holiday parties. However, as an introvert, happiest in my pajamas, I admit there are aspects that I do not miss, such as meeting a new person and having them ask the inevitable question, “What do you do?”

As fellow CPPers, you may recognize this moment. Tasty appetizer and beverage in hand, I’m tempted to answer that I’m a pastry chef because I love baking, but I usually feel compelled to give a more accurate answer, knowing it does not pair well with holiday cheer. “I’m a child trauma therapist. I work with children under age 6 and their families.” People typically respond with great empathy, “That must be so hard” or “Wow, it’s so good that you’re doing this.” It’s an interesting yet awkward moment that often leads to one or both of us running off to get more drinks or appetizers.

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about the deeper story that I generally keep to myself. It is incredibly hard to come face to face with the harsh reality that too many young children have been through dangers that no one should have and that, in general, our systems have not been built to respond to their experience. However, being a trauma therapist does not mean that this is all I see. As a therapist, supervisor, and trainer, I regularly witness the beauty of the human spirit. I see parents supporting children in telling their story and acknowledging their child’s feelings. Together, the caregivers, child, and therapist fight the dragons, punish the bad guys, talk about how sorry they are that these scary things happened, and they play, cuddle, and laugh together. I see children who are no longer stranded with their stories - and they breathe and blossom. The caregivers are often giving their children something they didn’t receive. They are breaking a cycle of intergenerational and historical trauma.

I also see the thought and care of therapists and supervisors who partner with families, who see the love and beauty that lies beneath the suffering and help families to see it as well. I know the dedication of the systems' leaders, who ensure that we can do this work. In a world full of conflict and trauma, I get to witness and be a part of healing and repair. So, here’s to each one of you who are our partners in doing this work. Others may not know what you do, but I do, and I am so grateful to be doing this with you.

Chandra Ghosh Ippen

CPP Therapist Andra Soto, 

Andra Soto Therapy

Stories from the Field

"Finished CPP with a kiddo and parent, done completely via telehealth. At final session, parent said, “You’ve given me back my child,” meaning her pre- traumatized child.

Child shared that he’s not scared of police anymore. He actually walked up to a police officer and said, “I’m not scared of you anymore. You’re my friend now. And if you’re bad, I can just put you in jail again, anytime I want to.” (which was a prominent repetitive part of our core intervention sessions)

LOVE this work!"

Honoring Our Angles

Patricia was a pioneer in the field of early childhood trauma, an original developer of CPP, and a founding director of the Child Trauma Research Program. Her memory continues to be a blessing: all our actions and aspirations carry the imprint of her wisdom, her kindness, and her depth. We relished her gift for speaking the unspeakable with love, embracing both children and parents with her empathy and nurturing their understanding of one another. When thorny ethical issues emerged in the treatment of child and family trauma, we turned to her for moral clarity. During times of uncertainty and fatigue, we relied on her optimism and her fortitude . She lightened our spirits with her irreverent humor even as she bristled with righteous indignation at the injustices of our political and social systems. It always seemed that nothing could go wrong for long provided she was there. We continue to feel that she is standing with us.

Thank you, Patricia, for the woman you were and for the gifts you continue to give us.

Patricia Van Horn, J. D., Ph.D., Child Trauma Research Program

Meet Richard and Ben

Richard Flamburis

Richard recently joined CTRP as Division Administrator in November, 2021. As part of this role, Richard is responsible for financial and administrative management and planning. Although relatively new to CTRP, Richard has been with the Department of Psychiatry for two years, and, more specifically, UCSF since 2005. Richard always knew he wanted to work in an academic medical setting and is incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a wonderful and progressive team like that of CTRP. Outside of work, Richard enjoys hiking and exploring new and interesting places in San Francisco.

Ben Spevack

Ben joined the CPP Team as a Dissemination Analyst in 2021. He previously worked as a senior analyst researching wildlife conservation and human security in Washington, DC, and has volunteered as an EMT in Massachusetts and Maryland. He brings interdisciplinary experience in database curation, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and international training. Outside of work, Ben enjoys swimming, reading fiction, and studying language.

Provider Spotlight

Markita Mays, LCSW

I joined the CTRP Family in 2010 as a post MSW clinical fellow. Since then, I’ve grown into not only providing CPP to families and supervising emerging clinicians, but also sharing a model I believe in through training across the country. I’ve learned in my 11 years that speaking the unspeakable holds power and is empowering. I’ve also learned that it is never too early to address trauma for children. This has inspired me to dare to engage families, specifically Black families during the perinatal phase. Getting ahead of trauma for newborns and providing pregnant/expecting people with the opportunity to simultaneously heal their wounds of the past and prevent the repetition of those wounds in the future.

EMBRACE has been a labor of love, holding the pivotal transformative power of the perinatal period rooted in racial justice. We are a racial- concordant model focused on:

  • Providing prenatal care from an intentional angle of racial consciousness
  • Asserting communal and cultural wisdom, practices, and traditions in medicalized birthing and modernized, health care systems
  • Integrating perinatal mental health support at intake to normalize wholistic, packaged care
  • Empowering Black parents and families with choice, agency, autonomy, and self-determination as protective buffers for their infants

CTRP’s influence of acknowledging ghosts in the nursery, speaking the unspeakable of historical, cultural, and intergenerational trauma, and providing trauma informed care has been instrumental in EMBRACE’s development.

Since 2018, EMBRACE has successfully delivered 36 babies, all born full term, 36 pregnant people alive and well after birthing. We call this safe passage!

The Road Ahead

We have a new home! CTRP is expanding to be a bi-campus program located at both Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and the Mission Bay Campus. We are excited to move into the new Nancy Friend Pritzker Building as part of the Child, Teen, and Family Center. Look out for announcements in the Spring of 2022 for a day- long CPP Conference in our new space!

We are also excited to continue our dissemination of CPP as part of a new 5-year funding cycle with SAMHSA. This marks 25 years of uninterrupted funding since 2001.

Oh, The Places We've Gone...

Celebrating 25 Years

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Child Trauma Research Program, also known as the CPP Mothership. We know that it takes a village to do this work, and we are grateful for this community. We invite you to view our 25th anniversary presentation, so we can celebrate together.

CPP Dissemination

In 2006, Dr. Patricia Van Horn led our first Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) Learning Collaborative in partnership with the SAMHSA funded, National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Now, 15 years later, thanks to our incredible team of CPP trainers, CPP trainings have been conducted in 40 states across seven countries (Australia, England, Hong Kong, Israel, Norway, Sweden, and the United States). We have CPP trainers in 23 states as well as in Israel, Norway, and Sweden.

Together, we are building a community of practitioners and system partners with the dedication and capacity to support young children and their families in healing after traumatic experiences.

CPP Dissemination in the United States

(Stars indicate the presence of local trainers

CPP Dissemination around the World


Thanks to generous donors, we have been able to support the continued spread of CPP. Donations are an investment in the present and the future, helping families right away while also building a workforce of future clinicians devoted to underserved children and families. These gifts have funded:

  • Scholarships to train predoctoral and post-doctoral clinicians, who in turn provide direct services to children and families.
  • Laptops, cell phones, and hot spots for families without access to Internet to enable them to engage in Telehealth.
  • Therapeutic toys that enable children to engage in Telehealth.
  • Products that raise awareness of the impact of trauma on young children and provide helpful suggestions to families and service providers.