What is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is short-term treatment to help children and their caregivers overcome the painful effects of experiencing traumatic life events such as domestic, school, or community violence; the unexpected death of a loved one; sexual violence or abuse; and exposure to disasters, terrorist attacks or war trauma.
TF-CBT teaches skills and strategies to help children and caregivers manage symptoms of trauma.
The program is provided by trained mental health professionals who address issues commonly experienced by children exposed to trauma such as poor self-esteem, difficulty trusting others, mood instability and self-injurious behaviors, including substance use.
What Should You Expect?
Children participate in a series of 12 to 16 therapy sessions to help them talk directly about their traumatic experiences in a supportive environment where they can learn effective coping and relaxation strategies to:
- Help reduce stress.
- Reduce anxiety when thinking or talking about the event.
- Improve behavior and feel happier, more trusting and more confident.
This treatment model teaches children how to examine their throughts, feelings and behaviors, and how to change these in order to feel better. It also provides children with tools such as relaxation and deep-breathing techniques, problem solving and safety education to help them manage situations in the future.
Involving a parent or caregiver is an integral part of this treatment model. Parents/caregivers are aware of the content covered with the child and are prepared to reinforce or discuss this material with the child between treatment sessions and after treatment has ended. By working together, TF-CBT enhances caregiver support and improves family functioning.
If a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
For more information, call (207) 874-1030 – TTY: (207) 874-1043.
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