Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) was developed by Judith Cohen, Anthony Mannarino, and Esther Deblinger. TF-CBT is designed for youth who have experienced a significantly traumatic event. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help people experiencing clinical post traumatic stress return to a healthy state of functioning after a traumatic event. This therapy is used for the parents or caregivers, children, and adolescents in a way that decreases the negative behavior patterns and emotional responses that occur as a result of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or other trauma.

Children, specifically adolescents, who are suffering severe emotional repercussions due to trauma respond extremely well to this technique. The therapy helps children who have experienced repeated episodes of trauma, as in abuse or neglect, or those who have suffered one occurrence of sudden trauma in their lives. Children who are learning to cope with the death of a loved one can also benefit greatly from TF-CBT.

A secure and stable environment is provided that enables the child to disclose the details of the trauma and it is at this time that the cognitive and learning theories of treatment are applied. The child is shown his distorted perceptions and is given the tools to redesign those attributes relating to the trauma. Parents, who are not the abusers, are also given the resources and skills necessary to help their children cope with the psychological ramifications of the abuse.