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UC Davis Children’s Hospital

UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an empirically supported treatment that helps children to overcome trauma related to abuse, violence and grief, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, and domestic violence.  Organizations and governmental institutions recognize TF-CBT as a model program and best practice for treating children who have experienced abuse and trauma (links). There is extensive outcome data documenting the effectiveness of TF-CBT in reducing PTSD symptoms and shame, decreasing depressive and anxiety symptoms, as well as disruptive and sexualized behaviors.  Furthermore, TF-CBT leads to significant reductions in levels of parental distress and improvements in the quality and level of parental support.

TF-CBT goals include:

  • Helping children cope with trauma related distress through use of healthy coping skills
  • Helping children to process their traumatic experiences
  • Assisting non-offending caregivers in responding supportively to children’s distress and helping them cope with their own feelings related to the trauma
  • Improving communication between caregivers and children
  • Reducing children’s behavioral and emotional difficulties
  • Enhancing future safety in order to reduce risk of re-victimization

This therapy is for children ages 3 to 18 who have significant behavioral and emotional difficulties related to traumatic life events. TF-CBT has been used effectively with boys and girls from all socioeconomic backgrounds, who are residing in a variety of settings (e.g., with parents/relatives, adoptive or foster placements, group homes), and who are from diverse ethnic and cultural groups. Treatment typically lasts 12 to 16 sessions.

More information on TF-CBT and free on-line introductory training in TF-CBT is available at http://tfcbt.musc.edu 

To learn more about CAARE Center TF-CBT training, see CAARE training information.

For additional information on TF-CBT and child trauma, please visit www.nctsn.org

CSAT — Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Program

The Child Sexual Abuse Treatment (CSAT) Program provides Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to children who have been sexually abused at the time of they are identified by law enforcement agencies and Child Protective Services.  Non-offending parents and caregivers will receive support services designed to help them to respond to their children in a manner that will support their recovery and long-term emotional well being.