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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services

DBHIDS has sponsored several evidence-based practice (EBP) initiatives to increase the availability of evidence-based practices within the Philadelphia behavioral health system. Each of the department funded initiatives has involved training, consultation, and implementation support from treatment experts and DBHIDS staff, to ensure that the practices are being implemented with quality and to support sustainability.

You can learn more about each of our DBHIDS-EBP Initiatives below by clicking on the initiative title.

For more detailed information about the practices described below, or to learn more about additional EBPs in our system please visit the Evidence-Based Practices in Philadelphia page.


Launched in 2007, the Beck Community Initiative supports the dissemination and implementation of Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for individuals receiving services in the Philadelphia behavioral health network and other systems around the world. This program was originally developed as a partnership between DBHIDS and the University of Pennsylvania’s Aaron T Beck Psychological Research Center, and is now housed in the Penn Collaborative for CBT and Implementation Science.

Under the leadership of Torrey A. Creed PhD, the Beck Community Initiative has provided CT/CBT training, consultation, and implementation support to over 75 Philadelphia behavioral health agencies across varied levels of care including mental health and substance use services, inpatient services, adult and child outpatient services, school based services, residential programs, and services for chronic homelessness. Click for more information

Contact: Amber.Venti@phila.gov


In 2012, DBHIDS received a SAMSHA grant to establish the Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services (PACTS), a network of child-serving systems and organizations capable of providing the most effective treatments available for traumatized youth and their families. In 2016, PACTS received a second SAMSHA grant focused on young children and LGBTQ youth as well as continued support of the PACTS network.  Providers participating in PACTS receive training and ongoing implementation support in delivering Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), The Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention (CFTSI) and with the new PACTS II grant, Child Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE).  Additionally, PACTs provides training on the impacts of trauma and on trauma screening and referral.


Contact: Sara.Fernandez-Marcote@phila.gov

The DBT Initiative began in 2012, when DBHIDS partnered with Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., and Katie Korslund, Ph.D., from the University of Washington to establish DBT capacity to assist individuals experiencing serious challenges with emotion regulation, suicidality, and self-harm. Providers were selected to participate in over a year-long training and consultation in DBT. Six teams have established comprehensive DBT programs and have received continued implementation support through the Treatment Implementation Collaborative (TIC). In 2017, a second cohort of the DBT Initiative was launched to build additional capacity for DBT in adult and adolescent outpatient and residential treatment.

www.ticllc.org and www.linehaninstitute.org

Initiative Contact: Amber.Venti@phila.gov


Since 2007, The ESFT Initiative has provided family-systems therapy training to outpatient and BHRS providers in Philadelphia.  Marion Lindblad Goldberg, Ph.D., and Steve Simms, Ph.D., of the Philadelphia Child and Family Therapy Training Center have provided a three year training curriculm for clinicians and supervisors to become immersed in and sustain the ESFT model.


Initiative Contact: Amber.Venti@phila.gov

Since 2011, Edna Foa, Ph.D., and her team at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania have provided intensive training and consultation to build capacity for the delivery of PE with individuals experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  They have also provided training on how to screen for PTSD symptoms and how to identify individuals who can benefit from trauma treatment.


Initiative Contact: Amber.Venti@phila.gov


The PCIT Initiative began in 2016 with the overall goal of enhancing care for young children with behavioral challenges and their caregivers. Amy Herschell, Ph.D. and Kristen Schaffner, Ph.D., experts in the training and implementation of PCIT, introduced an innovative training program engaging clinicians, supervisors and administrators in intensive PCIT training and consultation. Six child outpatient providers have established PCIT programs and will receive continued training and implementation support.

Initiative Contact: Amber.Venti@phila.gov