Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Achieve Results with Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Trauma and its Effects

Having traumatic experiences is very common. Most people will have at least one traumatic experience during their lifetime; many will have more. Everyone is affected by traumatic experiences, but the effects differ. When the distress is very intense or goes on too long, a treatment that directly addresses the trauma can be very helpful.

What is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Trauma-Focused CBT is a therapy that directly addresses the impact of traumatic events. TF-CBT helps patients overcome anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, low self-esteem, and other mental health issues that result from trauma
Cognitive behavioral techniques are used to help modify distorted or unhelpful thinking and negative reactions and behaviors. Learning to challenge invasive thoughts of guilt and fear can help a patient to reorganize their thinking in a healthier and happier way.

How does It work?

Early trauma can lead to guilt, anger, feelings of powerlessness, self-harm, acting out, depression, and anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects children and adults, can manifest in a number of ways, such as negative recurring thoughts about the traumatic experience, emotional numbness, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, and extreme physical and emotional responses to anything that triggers a memory of the trauma.
By integrating the theories and techniques of several therapeutic interventions, TF-CBT can address and improve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress in youth. Core features of TF-CBT treatment include:

  • Psychoeducation teaches the victim about normal reactions to traumatic experiences. This can help them reduce feelings of guilt or culpability for what happened.
  • Coping skills include relaxation exercises like deep breathing, mindfulness, acceptance, identifying and redirecting thoughts, and other methods.
  • Gradual exposure involves gradually introducing the patient to memories of their traumatic experience, with the goal of reconditioning their response to triggers and easing emotional distress.
  • Cognitive processing can include developing skills to recontextualize unhelpful feelings and thoughts and regulate emotions.
  • Caregiver involvement may include rebuilding trusting adult relationships for the child and training the caregiver on how to best be a resource for the child.

The goals of TF-CBT are to help clients learn skills to cope with trauma, face and resolve trauma and related concerns, as well as effectively integrate their traumatic experiences and progress through life in a safe and positive manner.

Personal Sessions
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Self-Improvement &

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Scott Yarnell
Piedmont, SC

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