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The MATCH-ADTC Protocol

The Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma or Conduct Problems protocol is a guided treatment for families and children, ages 6-15, with step-by-step instructions, activities, monitoring forms, tips and handouts.

Common mental health disorders can be disabling for children because of the potential to disrupt developmental milestones. However, while most therapies address one problem area at a time, MATCH-ADTC is designed to offer a more flexible approach and address complex, multiple disorders, even as conditions fluctuate in the course of treatment.

MATCH spans four broad problem domains—anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and conduct problems (including conduct problems associated with ADHD). Together, these represent 70-80% of clinically referred children seen in outpatient settings. MATCH helps children and their families:

    • Better understand their challenges
    • Gain the tools to help manage these challenges
    • Improve their daily and long-term functioning

Choosing from a menu of options, MATCH therapists can use various combinations of 33 discrete cognitive and behavioral components in day-to-day practice. A decision flowchart helps the therapist select, sequence and adapt the modules to meet each child’s primary concerns and specific characteristics. 

MATCH therapists can use procedures from the modules earlier than indicated (by jumping ahead in the sessions), omit procedures not well-suited for the child or change procedures to address multiple problem areas within a single session. For example:

  • For a youth with depression, a therapist can concurrently address disruptive behavior issues, if those symptoms impede the use of the depression modules. 
  • Therapists can then return to depression treatment when the interference is resolved.

Research & Assessment

MATCH was developed over the last decade by Drs. Bruce Chorpita and John Weisz through a synthesis of decades of evidence-based treatments (EBTs) and strategies. Rigorous studies have since proven MATCH’s effectiveness, including a U.S. clinical trial showing MATCH outperforming usual care and standard EBTs. 

Children’s progress is monitored and assessed by the Treatment Response Assessment for Children or TRAC online system, through a combination of standardized questions and client-generated progress reports. With the family, the therapist can determine if the child is responding to treatment or, based on progress, whether to adapt or end treatment. Research shows clinicians’ use of data through TRAC has a direct, positive impact on client outcomes.


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