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Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a highly effective and evidence-based psychotherapy approach designed to help children, adolescents and their families who have experienced a traumatic event. The aim of the therapy is to reduce the psychological and emotional distress associated with the traumatic event, as well as to improve the child’s overall functioning in various life domains.
Through TF-CBT, children learn positive beliefs about themselves, others and the world, as well as developing problem-solving skills. In addition to this, TF-CBT also works to improve parent-child relationships, providing parents with the skills they need to help their child to cope with their trauma.
The first step in TF-CBT is developing safety. This step involves helping the child to feel safe and secure by teaching relaxation techniques, self-soothing, and problem-solving skills.
The second step is affective regulation, which focuses on helping the child to identify, express and regulate their emotions.
The third step is trauma narrative and processing. This step involves helping the child to tell their story of the trauma and to process their feelings. This can be done through writing, drawing, and guided imagery.
The fourth step is enhancing coping skills. In this step, the focus is on helping the child to cope with and manage their trauma-related thoughts and feelings. Healthy coping strategies and safety plans are identified and used.
The fifth and final step is addressing and combating self-blame and guilt. This step focuses on helping the child to understand that they are not to blame for their trauma. It involves helping the child to distinguish between their behavior and the trauma they experienced.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) typically takes 12-16 sessions of 50 minutes each to complete, depending on the individual needs of the client. However, the length of the program depends on the client’s situation, the severity of their symptoms, and the amount of time they are willing to commit to their recovery. It is important to note that TF-CBT is not a quick fix and can take several months to achieve the desired results. However, those who complete the program often report significant improvements in their mental health, including reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of trauma, TF-CBT may be a beneficial treatment to consider.