Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) uses cognitive-behavioral theory and principles, and was developed by Judith Cohen, MD, Anthony Mannarino, PhD , and Esther Deblinger, PhD. TF-CBT was originally designed for children with posttraumatic symptoms as a result of sexual abuse.
Treatment generally consists of twelve treatment sessions. Maltreated children and their nonabusing family members learn stress-management skills; and they practice these techniques during graduated exposure to abuse-constructed trauma. The parents/caregivers learn how to address their own emotional reactions. Several joint parent/caregiver-child sessions are also included to enhance family communication about sexual abuse and other issues. Children who participate in TF-CBT show significant improvement in their fear reactions, depressive symptoms, inappropriate sexualized behaviors, and self-worth.