Teen TAG group description


A training, support and treatment program for teens (12 to 17 years of age) suffering from an Attachment Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress and/or a complex developmental trauma, and their caregivers or guardians.  The program is designed to promote healthy attachment behaviours, develop greater trust, better social skills, increase effective strategies for stress management, assist in the resolution of trauma, as well as develop and promote healthy attachment to biological (non-offending), adopted, or foster parents.


Parents Will:

  • Deepen their understanding/knowledge of trauma and disrupted attachment symptoms, behaviours, prognosis, and impact on families
  • Practice and improve on the techniques and skills which promote healthy relationships
  • Develop greater understanding the youth's feelings
  • Continue to build a cooperative/collaborative team within the youth's community, i.e., family, friends, school and other services and resources
  • Have continued access to feedback and support regarding their youth's progress and their own parenting skills

Youth Will:

  • Participate in groups where they can develop a trusting and non-threatening relationship with their primary caregiver
  • Practice and improve strategies/skills to identify and express feelings which may be causing difficulty (e.g., sadness, anger)
  • Practice and improve problem solving and conflict resolution methods/skills


In a Group Setting
  • Anxiety reduction, relaxation and mindfulness activities, and somatosensory strategies for adolescent with primary caregiver
  • Trauma processing using sand tray, and other art mediums for adolescent, with parent/guardian
  • Story time, closure for adolescent and parent/guardian
  • Feedback and support for parents/guardians

Session Length:

Weekly 2 hour sessions, approximately 28 weeks including orientation and feedback session for parents/guardians


Minimum 6 youth, maximum 8 youth.


Teen TAG is offered once a year, September through April.  Please contact the CASA Intake Receptionist at Weber Centre for exact dates and times.


CASA Weber Centre, 5555 Calgary Trail NW Edmonton AB  T6H 5P9.

Who Can Refer:

Mental health clinicians and child psychiatrists.

Referral Eligibility:

  • Youth has been diagnosed with an attachment disorder.
  • Youth attending this group are between the ages of 12 years and 17 years.
  • Youth are currently living in a secure, safe home (minimum 1 year) with committed non-biological parents or guardians.
  • Current family functioning will allow the parents or guardians and youth to participate in therapy for up to two years from the start of the program.
  • Youth will not be involved in concurrent treatment.
  • Physician care is transferred to the CASA psychiatrist.
  • The referring clinician will make a written commitment to provide follow-up care.

Eligibility exclusions:


Information Required:

  • Children’s Mental Health Regional Intake documentation
  • Completed CASA referral form
  • A comprehensive mental health assessment, (psychiatric or psychological assessments will also be accepted) and a DSM IV diagnosis completed within the past year
  • A letter of referral stating a commitment from the referring clinician to provide follow-up care
  • Children’s Services Information Consolidation (when available)

Referral Process:

  • The referring clinician directs a referral along with a completed CASA referral form to Regional Children’s Mental Health Intake (780-342-2701)
  • Regional Intake will screen the referral for eligibility and required documentation
  • If appropriate the referral will be forwarded to CASA Intake Services
  • Families will be asked to attend a screening interview where they learn more about the program and expectations
  • CASA will advise the referring clinician of the outcome of the referral

For More Information:

Please contact the the Senior Therapist Melanie Jonkman at 780-400-2271 or the Clinical Practice Lead Wanda Polzin 780-400-2270.


  CASA Family Handbook