Therapeutic Foster Care

AAA-Model-of-Therapeutic-CareThe Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care© is a tripartite model that accounts for the impact of complex developmental trauma in three key areas of psychological functioning:

  • Attachment (science of relationships and social-emotional development)
  • Arousal (psychophysiology of emotion and behaviour activations systems – a.k.a. “Neurobiology of Trauma”)
  • Accessibility to needs provision (science of human behaviour).

The Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care represents an integration of twenty-five years of endeavour as an applied researcher, clinician, teacher and writer by author and Clinical Psychologist, Colby Pearce.

The Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care is a step-by-step approach that:

  • Offers children experiences that support the promotion of secure attachment, thereby restoring the foundations for a happy and successful life after experienced abuse and neglect.
  • Offers children experiences that promote feelings of safety in relationships to reduce anxiety proneness and promote new learning and the development of brain structures responsible for thoughtful consideration, planning and effective action.
  • Offers children experiences that facilitate new learning that their needs are understood and important and will be met reliably and predictably through conventional care.

The Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care is concerned with carer wellbeing and incorporates information and strategies for preventing vicarious trauma (a.k.a. compassion fatigue) among carers of children recovering from abuse and neglect.

The Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care incorporates a built-in evaluation methodology. Ongoing evaluation shows that implementation of the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care results in targeted changes in caregiving behaviour. Children to whom the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care is delivered show evidence of:

  • Improved attachment security (they increase their independent play, reflecting an emergent secure base);
  • Reduced arousal (they sleep better, they waken happier, they have fewer emotional outbursts and their outbursts are of shorter duration); and
  • Reduced preoccupation with their needs (they are less demanding/coercive/ preoccupied with needs/wishes).

The Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care© can be delivered to alternate care programs internationally:

UK/Ireland Consultants:

John Gibson:

Craig Wilkinson:

Tina Hendry:

Robin Barker:

A limited international release of the caregiver handbook for the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care is available now for download to your PC or laptop. The Limited Release Handbook for the Triple-A Model of Therapeutic Care is reasonably priced at $30:00 (AUD) and can be accessed internationally (please check exchange rates in your own currency). Upon payment you will receive via download to your PC or laptop a personalised PDF of the handbook.

Buy Now

For more information about Triple-A, contact the author, Colby Pearce, at

For more about Colby’s contribution to international thinking about attachment, resilience, mental health and recovery from child abuse and neglect, please refer to the publication list below.

Pearce, C.M (2012). Repairing Attachments. BACP Children and Young People, 28-32

Pearce, C.M. (2011). A Short Introduction to Promoting Resilience in Children. London:          JKP

Pearce, C.M. (2011). The Comeback Kid. Junior Magazine

Pearce, C.M. (2011) Attached to the Unattached. SEN Magazine

Pearce, C.M. (2010). An Integration of Theory, Science and Reflective Clinical Practice in        the Care and Management of Attachment-Disordered Children – A Triple A Approach.        Educational and Child Psychology (Special Issue on Attachment), 27 (3): 73-86 

Pearce, C.M. (2009) A Short Introduction to Attachment and Attachment Disorder.                   London: JKP

Pearce, C.M., Martin., G., & Wood, K. (1995). Significance of Touch for Perceptions of              Parenting andPsychological Adjustment Among Adolescents. Journal of the Academy          of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34 : 160-167.

Pearce, C.M., & Martin, G. (1994). Predicting Suicide Attempts Among Adolescents. Acta        Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 90 : 324-328.[1]

Pearce, C.M., & Martin, G. (1993). Locus of Control as an Indicator of Risk for Suicidal               Behaviour Among Adolescents. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 88 : 409-414.

Allison, S., Pearce, C., Martin, G., Miller, K., & Long, R. (1995). Parental Influence,                     Pessimism, and Adolescent Suicide. Archives of Suicide Research, 1 : 229-242.

Allison, S., Powrie, R., Pearce, C., & Martin, G. (1995). Continuing Medical Education in          Marital and Family Therapy: A Survey of South Australian Psychiatrists. Australian              and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 29 : 638-644

Martin, G., Rozanes, P., Pearce, C.M., & Allison, S. (1995). Adolescent Suicide, Depression      and Family Dysfunction. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 92 : 336-344.

Martin, G., Clarke, M., & Pearce, C.M.. (1993). Adolescent Suicide: Music Preference as an      Indicator of Vulnerability. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent         Psychiatry, 32 : 530-535.

[1] The findings of this article formed the basis of the assessment process in the video Youth Suicide: Recognising the Signs, produced by the Child Health Foundation as part of a nation-wide education program for GP’s.

Attachment Colby Pearce   Resilience Colby Pearce

About colbypearce

I am a practising Clinical Psychologist with twenty-seven years’ experience working with children and young people recovering from abuse and neglect. I am also an author and educator in trauma-informed, therapeutic caregiving. My programs are implemented in Australia and Ireland, and I am well-known for my practical and accessible guidance for caregivers and professionals alike.
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