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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Children and Trauma

            Most children suffering with trauma are in immediate need of good psychological care. Fortunately, due to years of research and in-depth case studies, many helpful treatments are available to assist the psychiatrist or therapist and the child's healing process. Typically, these treatments are used to help children who have experienced trauma in the past and not those who are currently going through traumatic experiences. However, there are solid evidence-based treatments (EBTs) that are used for children dealing with both past and ongoing trauma. One such treatment is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(TF-CBT). .
             The Basics of TF-CBT.
             Originally, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was developed to address the negative effects of traumatic life events for children and their parents/primary caregivers. TF-CBT makes use of several effective techniques, including Psycho-education, relaxation techniques, cognitive coping skills, trauma narrative and processing, In-Vivo Exposure, conjoint parent/child therapy sessions and helping the child with enhancing their safety skills. .
             According to Murray, Cohen & Mannarino (2013) children and youth who experience continuing trauma such as war, abuse, community or domestic violence (e.g., a parent is frequently harmed by a partner, a man who raped the child still lives nearby or is a constant presence, living in extreme poverty, parental neglect or other forms of abuse, consistent torment or ridicule from a sibling, peer, teacher, neighbor, etc.), have realistic expectations of danger and ongoing threats. .
             TF-CBT is a method that presents the therapist with proven strategies that can be used when helping these children. According to Murray, Cohen & Mannarino (2013) there are four practical strategies that can be utilized to help these children. The first practical strategy is to prioritize safety. "When teaching skills like relaxation, the therapist is careful to assure the child understands when it is safe to relax and times when relaxation should not be used," (Murray, Cohen, & Mannarino, 2013, p.

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