Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)


Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment model designed to assist children, adolescents, and their families in overcoming the negative effects of a traumatic experience.  This approach has been proven effective for treatment after multiple traumas or a single traumatic event and therapists trained in TF-CBT are frequently able to help children experiencing the emotional effects of trauma address and resolve these effects.   Traumatic experiences may include:

  • Physical, sexual, or psychological abuse and neglect (including trafficking)
  • Natural and technological disasters or terrorism
  • Family or community violence
  • Sudden or violent loss of a loved one
  • Substance use disorder (personal or familial)
  • Refugee and war experiences (including torture)
  • Serious accidents or life-threatening illness
  • Military family-related stressors (e.g., deployment, parental loss or injury)

These experiences can provoke physiological and emotional reactions that may persist for a long time after the event. Children may feel terror, helplessness, or fear, as well as physiological reactions such as heart pounding, vomiting, or loss of bowel or bladder control. Children who experience an inability to protect themselves or who lacked protection from others to avoid the consequences of the traumatic experience may also feel overwhelmed by the intensity of physical and emotional responses.

How TF-CBT Works

TF-CBT is designed for 3-18 year olds and is a short term therapy process that generally takes 12-25 sessions.  The interventions are specifically tailored to meet the needs of children and adolescents experiencing emotional and psychological difficulties and are integrated with humanistic, cognitive behavioral, and familial strategies. 

As a result of this therapeutic approach, both parents/caregiver and children/youth may become able to better process emotions and thoughts relating to the traumatic experience by utilizing the necessary tools to alleviate the overwhelming thoughts causing stress, anxiety, and depression.   This approach can help you learn to manage difficult emotions in a healthier way.  A secure and stable environment is provided in order to enable children to disclose details of the trauma. It is at this time the cognitive and learning theories of treatment are applied. Children are shown how perceptions may be distorted and are given the tools to redesign those perceptions.TF-CBT is a skills-based model, and it requires the child and parent to practice its components in order to be optimally effective. Parents and children are commonly asked to practice skills at home. The goal of TF-CBT is to allow both child and parent to continue to develop their skills and communication techniques in a healthy manner. 

Core components of TF-CBT include:

  • Psychoeducation and parenting skills 
  • Relaxation 
  • Affective regulation
  • Cognitive processing of the trauma
  • Trauma narrative
  • In vivo mastery of trauma reminders
  • Conjoint child-parent sessions
  • Enhancing future safety and development

The Duration of the Sessions

Each weekly session is approximately 90 minutes and includes both individual and joint sessions with child/youth and parent/caregiver.


Please schedule a complimentary phone consultation, which will allow us the opportunity to explore how working together can help your child to progress and reach the desired goals.  After we have determined a good fit, the following investment package is available:

  • TF-CBT sessions
    • One 90-minute session
    • $125.00 per session
    • Cash, Check, Debit/Credit Card Accepted (No Insurance Accepted)
    • Out of Network PPO – Accepted (Superbill provided upon request)