Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescent Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS)

The Center for Childhood Resilience has partnered with the Chicago Public Schools for a study to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and utility of a school-based intervention for students exposed to trauma (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescent Responding to Chronic Stress; SPARCS). SPARCS is a group intervention designed to address the needs of chronically traumatized adolescents who may still be living with ongoing stress and experiencing problems in several areas of functioning. This proposed work pilots the SPARCS intervention to Options school students through collaboration between school and community-based clinicians. The current study seeks to evaluate the SPARCS intervention within alternative school settings. CPS has already begun to offer the SPARCS intervention in a few alternative schools; however, there has been no research to date on whether this model is feasible, acceptable, and effective in this setting. Therefore, our team is partnering with school-based staff to implement and evaluate this intervention.

PI: Tali Raviv, PhD & Claudio Rivera, PhD
Project Director: Claudio Rivera, PhD
Collaborators: Chicago Public Schools Office of Innovation and Incubation
CCR Staff: Faith Summersett-Ringgold, PhD


  1. It will be feasible to implement this 16-week intervention for chronic stress in an alternative school settings.

  2. The intervention will be acceptable to participating students, implementing clinicians, and other school staff.

  3. The intervention will show initial utility, as demonstrated by improvements in mental health symptoms, coping skills, and academic functioning.