Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Through The Forest Counseling of Boston

100 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114
+1 (857) 299-1123

Through The Forest Counseling of Quincy

859 Willard St Ste 400b, Quincy, MA 02169
+1 (617) 845-0990

Through The Forest Counseling of New Haven

157 Church St 19th FL, Connecticut Financial Center, New Haven, CT 06510

Trauma-focused therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on the specific emotional and mental health needs of children, adolescents, adult survivors, and families striving to overcome the damaging effects of early trauma. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is particularly attentive to the unique problems of adolescents suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder and mood disorders as a result of abuse, violence, or sorrow. Because the client is usually a child, TF-CBT frequently includes non-offending parents or other caregivers in treatment and uses family therapy ideas.

TF-CBT is a short-term intervention that can take place in an outpatient mental health clinic, group home, community center, hospital, school, or in-home environment and can last anywhere from eight to 25 sessions. Cognitive-behavioral techniques are used to help in the modification of erroneous or unhelpful thinking, as well as negative reactions and behaviors. At the same time, a family therapy approach looks at interactions among family members and other family dynamics that are contributing to the problem and seeks to teach new parenting, stress-management, and communication skills.

Look for a certified mental health practitioner with specialized training and experience in cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and trauma-focused therapy, as well as further training and supervised experience. In addition to these credentials, it is important to locate a therapist with whom you and your child feel at ease.

Anyone who has had a single or repeated experience of sexual, physical, or mental abuse, or who has developed post-traumatic symptoms, depression, or anxiety as a result of the loss of a loved one or exposure to violence in the home or community, can benefit from TF-CBT. If a child or adolescent also has major behavioral, substance abuse, or suicidal ideation problems, other forms of treatment, such as dialectical behavior therapy, may be more suited as an initial intervention and can be followed up with a trauma-sensitive approach. There is limited evidence that trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective intervention for adult war veterans suffering from complicated post-traumatic stress disorder.

The trauma-focused method to psychotherapy was pioneered in the 1990s by psychiatrist Judith Cohen and psychologists Esther Deblinger and Anthony Mannarino, with the goal of better serving children and adolescents who had experienced sexual abuse. Over the years, TF-CBT has grown to encompass services for kids who have experienced any type of severe trauma or abuse.

Early trauma can lead to feelings of guilt, wrath, powerlessness, self-abuse, acting out behavior, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects both children and adults, can manifest in a variety of ways, including bothersome recurring thoughts about the traumatic experience, emotional numbness, sleep problems, concentration issues, and extreme physical and emotional reactions to anything that triggers a memory of the trauma. TF-CBT can treat and alleviate the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in youth by merging the theories and techniques of numerous therapeutic modalities.

What is the next step?

If you or someone you love is considering individual therapy or counseling, please contact Through The Forest Counseling. We are a team of professionals who have the expertise to help.

Call us at our office to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled clinicians at Through The Forest Counseling.