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 »

Learn more about CAARE Center TF-CBT training »

Additional information on TF-CBT and child trauma »

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.