EBTS Evidence Based Trauma Stabilisation - Programme and training

Short-term effective support for families in challenging situations

Evidence-Based Trauma Stabilization (EBTS) is targeted to families in challenging situations. It consists of two innovative products for the stabilization of traumatized children in families. The EBTS-Programme is a psychodrama-based short trauma stabilisation process for families with traumatic experiences or challenging living situations. In the EBTS-Training social workers, educators, psychologists, and other professionals learn to conduct the EBTS-Programme in groups of families.

Evidence Based Trauma Stabilization (EBTS) training and programme can be implemented in any organisation, which works with families in fields of immigration, education, social care, health care, etc. Open training seminars will be available, too, in different countries.

EBTS-Programmes and trainings have been implemented since 2018 for example in these countries: Germany, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Türkiye and Syria. Materials are published in English, Bulgarian, Finnish, German, Ukranian, Croatian, and Arabic. Translation to other language are made in connection of new implementations of trainings and programmes..

EBTS was created and piloted 2017-2019 in Bulgaria, Finland and Germany in the project supported by EU (Erasmus+ Adult Education).

The EBTS-Programme

EBTS-Programme can be applicable in situations and contexts, in which families are facing and experiencing traumatic events - refugee journey or camps, war areas, natural disasters, etc. - and in challenging situations of families, in which psycho-social support in form of stabilisation would help them. 

In the EBTS-Programme, the latest findings from therapy and trauma research are integrated into a resilience and attachment-oriented playing between parents and children with the aim of reducing the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The use of child psychodramatic scenes enables parents to regain stability with their children while playing in safe and self-made bear caves. In this playfully process, traumatised parents and children experience self-efficacy, belonging and self-esteem. This increases reassurance and stabilisation both in children and parents.

The EBTS-Programme is based on combination of stabilisation of adult and child trauma simultaneously, and building the basic skills how to deal with trauma and challenging situations.

EBTS-Programme is suitable for families with children between 4-12 years, and it is implemented in group form.

The effectiveness of the EBTS-Programme is researched. Even though the programme is short, it has a positive impacts especially on children. Intrusion and arousal of PTSD, and levels of depression and dissociation are decreasing during the programme. Here is the link to the peer-reviewed article of the effectiveness:

Gotseva-Balgaranova, K., Popivanov, I.D. & Mutafchieva, M. Impact evaluation of the evidence-based trauma stabilisation programme for refugee, asylum seeking and immigrant families. Zeitschrift für Psychodrama und Soziometrie 19, 147–160 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11620-020-00568-8

Structure and contents of EBTS-Programme

The programme consists of total 10 sessions:

  • 4 psychoeducation sessions for parents.
  • 5 structured playing sessions for child-parent-couples of 4-6 families.
  • 1 reflection and closure session for parents.

The whole programme takes about two months, and if needed, it can be conducted in one month.

The sessions will

  • enable the children and the parents to experience a safe bond to each other.
  • demonstrate stabilisation techniques for self-calming.
  • be simple, child-friendly and usable for everyday situations.
  • be appropriate for larger and half-open groups.
  • make use of ritualised and standardised procedures.

The EBTS-Training

The EBTS-Training is for professionals who work with families in challenging situations. EBTS-Programme is for stabilisation, it is not therapy. Participants in trainings don’t need to be health care professionals.

The training will expand professional expertise on trauma stabilization, structured playing and self care. The core content of the EBTS-Training include familiarisation with EBTS-Programme, psycho-education and improving the skills for psycho hygiene and self-care.

Structure and contents of the EBTS-Training

The training consist of two seminars (2+4 days, total 6 days), and supervision sessions after the seminars.

Creative action methods based on psycho- and sociodrama and sociometry are supporting experiential learning of participants. The learning between seminars is based on practice, reflection and concrete tasks.

The seminars can be online and/or onsite, depending on the needs and possibilities of the participants. The EBTS-Manual and the Training material support learning of the professionals, and conducting the EBTS-Programme in their work.


Milena Mutafchieva, Stefan Flegelskamp and Reijo Kauppila are the co-creators and main trainers of EBTS. New EBTS-Trainers are trained in a training process, which is connected to EBTS-Trainings.



Helsinki Psychodrama Institute

Reijo Kauppila

+358 44 599 3377


Psychodrama trainer TEP, Master of education (Adult education), Supervisor and supervisor trainer, Certified business coach


Szenen Insitute for psychodrama

Stefan Flegelskamp


Graduate social worker, child and adolescent psychotherapist, Psychodrama trainer for adults and children, Supervisor


Centre for Child Development and Psychological Consulting “Cognitiva”

ssoc. Prof. Milena Mutafchieva, PhD


Psychologist, Psychodrama therapist, Associate Professor in Cognitive Science and Psychology Department in New Bulgarian University, Sofia.  Psychodrama trainer for adults

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