Trauma impacts a child’s physical, social, and emotional development. Untreated trauma harms a child’s ability to form close relationships and can result in development of mental health and substance abuse problems.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is recognized as the gold standard approach for treating trauma in children.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is provided by specially trained and certified masters level clinicians.

Overview

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based approach provided by The Guidance Center in McKean County for children ages 3-18 experiencing emotional or behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events.

The service is provided through individual and joint parent-child outpatient counseling sessions delivered over a period of 12-18 weeks. Services are billed to your health insurance and offered on a sliding scale for self-pay individuals.

Research

Youth served by Trauma-Focused CognitiveBehavioral Therapy demonstrate a significant reduction in trauma related symptoms including depression, anxiety, and behavior problems.

Youth also exhibit increased trust, social skills, independence and are better able to manage the daily demands of life.

Parents report reduced emotional distress about the trauma and enhanced ability to support their child.

Families report improved communication and bonding.

Defining Trauma

Trauma is caused by an event, series of circumstances, or a chronic condition that
threatens the physical or emotional safety of oneself or others and causes a sense of terror, fear, and helplessness.

Examples of traumatic events include:

  • Being in a serious accident
  • Traumatic death of a loved one
  • Repetitive harassment or abuse by peers
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Surviving a natural disaster or house fire

Symptoms of Trauma

  • Unusual clinginess or fear of separation
  • Increased focus on death or safety
  • Obsessive fear, worry, or new fears
  • Inability to be soothed or comforted
  • Easily startled or overreacts to situations
  • Low weight/failure to thrive
  • Overeating or hoarding food
  • Nightmares or night terrors
  • Bedwetting
  • Avoidance of physical contact
  • Regression to a younger age
  • Inability to trust others or make friends
  • Stomach aches and headaches
  • Acting helpless or passive
  • Hyperactivity or oppositional behavior
  • Sexual knowledge beyond the child’s age
  • Acting out traumatic events during play

Components of TFCBT

TFCBT helps parents:

  • Understand the impact of trauma on children
  • Implement strategies to support improved emotional regulation and behavior in children impacted by trauma.

TFCBT helps children:

  • Use relaxation and stress management techniques
  • Reduce emotional reaction to reminders of the trauma
  • Identify, express, and manage emotions
  • Improve coping skills
  • Understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • Talk about the traumatic experience
  • Identify and correct distorted thoughts and beliefs about the event
  • Enhance personal safety and social skills
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