Back to All
March 31, 2023

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: What Is It and Who Is It For?

by Kelly Sauer, LMFT

Has your child experienced a traumatic event? Are they experiencing emotional effects of going through a traumatic event, such as anxiety or depression? Understanding how to navigate and support your child through those experiences can be extremely difficult. Kelly Sauer, LMFT, Behavioral Health Therapist with Avance Care is breaking down one way to support those who this may be relevant to: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

What is Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

TF-CBT is a model that is used for children and adolescent clients who have experienced traumas including child abuse, exposure to community or domestic violence, disasters, traumatic grief, neglect and other traumatic events. Symptoms of these events could be anything from nightmares and intrusive memories to anxiety and depression. TF-CBT is an evidenced-based model that has been shown to be 80-85% effective in reducing symptoms in children aged 3-19. It is a short-term model that usually lasts 12-20 sessions. The clinician teaches the child and chosen caregiver effective coping skills to help them process the traumatic events they experienced.

The Three Phases of TF-CBT

TF-CBT consists of three phases: safety and stabilization, formal gradual exposure, and integration. Those phases are broken down even further into PRACTICE sections.

Phase 1:

P – Psychoeducation

R – Relaxation

A – Affective Modulation

C – Cognitive Coping

Phase 2:

T – Trauma Narrative

I – In-Vivo Exposure

Phase 3:

C – Conjoint TN

E – Enhancing Safety

The TF-CBT model will help address mental health themes such as anger, hopelessness, guilt, loss of trust, emotional dysregulation, low school performance, and distressed family relationships. It can also help to reduce the physiological impacts that trauma can have on a youth’s brain development.

If this is a model you think you think could be helpful for a child you know, call 919-237-1337 to schedule with an Avance Care Behavioral Health Therapist who specializes in TF-CBT today.

Don't delay the care you need.

Open 7-days a week with same-day appointments.