What is Trauma-Focused Behavioral Therapy?

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment that is meant to heal young people and their families cope with the effects of traumatic experiences. 

The overall goal of TF-CBT is to address symptoms resulting from a specific traumatic experience or experiences and to allow both child and parent to continue to develop their skills and communication techniques in a healthy manner.

Know a child who could benefit from TF-CBT? Get help now. 

TF-CBT is a skills-based model, and it requires the child and parent to practice its components in order to achieve the best results. This treatment is short-term and generally lasts no more than 16 sessions.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is similar to general Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which Idaho Youth Ranch also offers. Both methods treat anxiety and other trauma-related symptoms, however TF-CBT's approach incorporates techniques commonly used in family therapy and has an even more trauma-sensitive approach. 

How it works:

  • Psychoeducation
    • In the phase, children and parents learn about trauma, common reactions to it, and how to recover.
  • Relaxation
    • This phase is intended to help the child reverse the triggers of the trauma they have suffered using relaxation techniques. 
  • Affective Regulation
    • During this part of the process, child learn skills to identify and regulate emotions that come up as a result of their traumatic experience(s). 
  • Cognitive Processing of the Trauma
    • This stage helps the child build more skills for coping with their stress and learning to heal.
  • Trauma Narrative
    • In the phase, the clinician helps the child walk through the story of their trauma, utilizing the skills they've learned to help them understand their experience in a healthier way.
  • In Vivo Mastery of Trauma Reminders
    • This stage is meant to help the child identify and overcome triggers from their trauma they may encounter in everyday life and how to implement the skills they've learned to overcome them. 
  • Conjoint Child-Parent Sessions
    • It's during the stage that parent-child sessions occur jointly and the clinician helps the family reconnect and work together to find a way to continue to heal and grow together. 
  • Enhancing Future Safety and Development
    • This phase solidifies the skills learned and the insights gained throughout the process.

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