Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) [Sexual Behavior Problems in Children, Treatment of]

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been rated by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Children (3-12) with a known trauma history who are experiencing sexual behavior problems and significant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, whether or not they meet full diagnostic criteria

For children/adolescents ages: 3 – 12

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 3 – 12

Brief Description

TF-CBT is a conjoint child and parent psychotherapy model for children who are experiencing significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events. It is a components-based hybrid treatment model that incorporates trauma-sensitive interventions with cognitive behavioral, family, and humanistic principles. TF-CBT is also rated a “1 – Well-Supported Research Evidence” in the Trauma Treatment - Client-Level Interventions (Child & Adolescent) and Anxiety Treatment (Child & Adolescent) topic areas for children with a known trauma history who are experiencing significant Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, whether or not they meet full diagnostic criteria. The children can also be experiencing depression, anxiety, and/or shame. In addition, children experiencing Childhood Traumatic Grief can also benefit from the treatment. Please click here to go to that entry.

Program Goals:

The overall goal of Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is:

  • Address symptoms resulting from a specific traumatic experience or experiences which includes:
    • Improving child PTSD, depressive and anxiety symptoms
    • Improving child externalizing behavior problems (including sexual behavior problems if related to trauma)
    • Improving parenting skills and parental support of the child, and reducing parental distress
    • Enhancing parent-child communication, attachment, and ability to maintain safety
    • Improving child's adaptive functioning
    • Reducing shame and embarrassment related to the traumatic experiences

Contact Information

Judith Cohen, MD
Agency/Affiliation: Allegheny General Hospital, Drexel University College of Medicine
Phone: (412) 330-4321
Fax: (412) 330-4377

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2015

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: September 2011