SafERteens is an evidence-based youth violence prevention intervention for clinical settings. It is a brief intervention that is conducted 1:1 with youth. This program has been shown to reduce youth violence up to 12 months post intervention.


SafERteens is an evidence-based brief intervention designed to reduce youth violence. As part of the 30-minute intervention, participants are guided to explore their goals and values, how risky behaviors could affect their goals, and positive ways to resolve conflict. Afterwards, participants receive booster text messages for two months to reinforce intervention content. Previous studies led by our team with teens recruited from the emergency department have found that patients who receive the SafERteens program are less likely to report involvement in violence and violence-related consequences at follow-up.

This brief intervention uses motivational interviewing techniques to change behavior in a respectful, non-confrontational, and non-judgmental manner. This one-on-one counseling approach emphasizes individual choice and responsibility and differentiates between future goals/values and current behavior. This method of therapy allows for increased problem recognition, motivation, self-efficacy for change, and tools for anger management and conflict resolution.

The SafERteens program has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an evidence-based program to reduce youth violence, and is included in their Comprehensive Technical Package for the Prevention of Youth Violence and Associated Risk Behaviors

For more information about this program, including research publications, and information on how to implement this program in your community, please visit