Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

TF-CBT is a psychotherapy treatment designed to help children, adolescents, and their parents overcome the impact of traumatic events. A therapist trained in TF-CBT will work with the individual and their parents/caregivers to discuss details about the trauma in a supportive and safe environment, while replacing the memories with more helpful thoughts about the trauma.

How Does It Work?

Children and adolescents who have experienced trauma can be triggered by any reminder associated with the event resulting in fear, isolation, and suppression of the memory. A therapist will conduct individual sessions with the child or adolescent, individual sessions for the parents, and conjoint sessions with the parent and child.

Sessions with the child will include:

  • Learning that the trauma was not their fault and that they are not the only ones who have survived a similar traumatic event.
  • Identifying feelings and ways to manage them
  • Learning relaxation techniques.
  • Identifying negative thought patterns that can increase depression and anxiety.
  • Learning how to replace negative thoughts with more helpful thoughts.
  • Learning safety skills.

Sessions with the parent/caregiver will include:

  • Discussing their own feelings and thoughts about their child’s trauma
  • Learning parent skills that will help support their child through sharing their experiences
  • Improving communication
  • Identifying parents' own trauma and how this could impact their child.

How Long is Treatment?

TF-CBT typically involves weekly, 60 minute sessions for 12-16 weeks. This can vary based on the individual's needs.

Who Could Benefit From CF-CBT?

Children ages 3 to 18 who have witnessed or experienced the follow traumatic events:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Unexpected death of a loved one
  • Natural disasters