Trauma focused CBT (TF-CBT) is a form of talking therapy that addresses the emotions and mental health needs of trauma survivors.
Trauma can be the result of witnessing or experiencing a threatening, scary or overwhelming situation which is out of the individual’s control. Experiencing traumatic events can have a long-lasting effect on many aspects of life, which is why the aim of TF-CBT is to fully address trauma that remains unresolved.
TF-CBT is recommended for those who have developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or anxiety after a single or repeated exposure to traumatic events. It is categorised as a short-term form of therapy which can last from 8 to 25 sessions.
In TF-CBT work, the allocated therapist will focus on 4 components: grounding, memory processing, beliefs and reclaiming;
Grounding is a means of equipping the client with relaxation techniques to lessen the impact of trauma. This is involves learning to practice prescribed cognitive behavioural techniques which will better manage symptoms when they occur.
Memory processing requires the client to explore their memories of the traumatic event in question. This can be an emotional process, which the therapist will facilitate through empathic guiding.
Belief refers to the act of making sense of what has happened. Specifically, this provides the client with an opportunity to make a more informed and helpful judgement of the traumatic event.
At the end of the course of sessions, TF-CBT provides the client with the agency to reclaim a sense of control in their life. This final component of therapy is the last step in restoring that which has been lost to the impact of the trauma.
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