Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Essay

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Essay

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Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is one of the most commonly utilized interventions for children (Cary & McMillen, 2011). TF-CBT is a highly structured intervention consisting of 90-minute weekly sessions. The clinician works with the client through eight competencies, including psychoeducation, relaxation, affective expression and regulation, cognitive coping, trauma narrative development and processing, gradual exposure, joint parent/child sessions, and enhancing future development (Cary & McMillen, 2011). TF-CBT has an extensive history and many variations. Clinicians utilize a number of other cognitive behavior treatments that have been adapted to meet the needs of traumatized children (Cary, & McMillen, 2012; Smith et al., 2007). While there are a number of cognitive behavior treatments, TF-CBT has received the highest classification rating for supported and effective treatment from many studies (Cary, & McMillen, 2012; Kauffman Best Practices Project, 2004).
Studies show that TF-CBT has been effective when working with children and reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression, and behavior problems following trauma (Cary & McMillen, 2011). Bisson and Andrew (2009) state through systematic review of adults, TF-CBT performed eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and outperformed other treatments. The Kauffman Best Practices Project (2004) believes that TF-CBT is the “best practice” in the field of child abuse treatment.
While many view TF-CBT as the “best practice,” it may not be the best fit for emotional child abuse. In many of the studies completed for TF-CBT, the primary abuse studied is sexual abuse. In TF-CBT studies, they indicate they effectively work with physi...


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...nknown. Additionally, some studies use invalid or non-standardized quantitative questionnaires. Despite these limitations, EMDR interventions have significant clinical results.
Since EMDR shows significant results when working with cases of adults who suffer trauma and children with self-esteem and behavioral problems, EMDR has the potential to be a beneficial treatment for children who experience emotional child abuse. EMDR is helpful to children because it does not require the child to disclose specific details of the trauma. While the child talks about the trauma broadly, the clinician requests him to make a visual image in his mind. In addition, EMDR does not require homework, specific insight, or intelligence (Luber & Shapiro, 2009). Applying EMDR to emotional child abuse potentially allows children to reach a lasting, stable resolution to the trauma faster.

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