Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

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 with a known trauma history who are experiencing significant Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, whether or not they meet full diagnostic criteria. In addition, children with depression, anxiety, and/or shame related to their traumatic exposure. Children experiencing Childhood Traumatic Grief can also benefit from the treatment.

For children/adolescents ages: 3 – 18

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 3 – 18

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.

Program Goals:

The overall goal of TF-CBT is to address symptoms resulting from a specific traumatic experience or experiences. This 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
Esther Deblinger, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: CARES Institute
Department: Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine
Phone: (856) 566-7036
Fax: (856) 566-2778

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: December 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2006