Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Traumatized Children and Families
This manuscript is about trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), a family-focused treatment in which parents or caregivers (hereafter referred to as “parents”) participate equally with their traumatized child or adolescent. TF-CBT is a components- and phase-based treatment that emphasizes proportionality and incorporates gradual exposure into each component. Recommendations outlined in the manuscript include: parents and child should receive all TF-CBT components in parallel individual sessions which allow parents and child to express their personal thoughts and feelings about the child’s trauma experiences, and gain skills to help the child re-regulate trauma responses and master avoidance of trauma reminders and memories. Families also need to participate in several conjoint parent-child sessions to enhance family communication about the child’s trauma experiences and parental support of the child. Finally, research documents that parental participation is significant.