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Teenage Aggression Responding Assertively (T.A.R.A), Berry Street

Program theory

Facilitate and provide psychoeducation to parents with the aim of increasing capacity and ability to respond to their adolescents’ challenging/aggressive/violence behaviours.

Program objectives

Resource parents to understand and develop responses to their adolescent’s behaviours and opportunities for relational repair and connection.

Provide parent/caregiver with strategies and ideas to deescalate the situation whilst remaining connected.

Assist parents in understanding relevant theories and emotion-focused parenting.

Program components

T.A.R.A. is a free, three-hour workshop for parents and caregivers, delivered over two consecutive mornings. Sessions are delivered by clinical family therapists who draw out the group’s experiences, providing pyscho-education and developing the capacity for parents to be feel better connected and equipped to respond to situations of violence/aggression with their adolescent.

Workshop material is embedded in the context of adolescent development, attachment theory, polyvagal theory, emotion focused parenting and systemic family therapy theories.

The workshop functions as an adjunct to the team’s other family therapy program. There is capacity for workshop participants to continue with ongoing support by engaging with a Family therapist from the Matters program to build on family relationships while addressing behaviours.

The team also offers professional consults.


Historically has been evaluated. No formal evaluation report available.

Program has been running for over 16 years. Participants complete pre- and post-workshop evaluation form to assist program review each term.


Open to parents/caregivers of adolescents (12-18) who are behaving with aggression and violence (workers assess risk level/safety for suitability).

Delivery areas

Group based at Eaglemont site. Services areas of Whittlesea, Nillumbik, Banyule and Darebin (some capacity for out of region attendance).


Self-referrals direct from parent/caregiver

Professionals from external agencies (school wellbeing, support/case workers, Orange Door) can consult re suitability.


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