Youth Services Law

Showing 4 posts in Therapy.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has published an excellent report about Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). The treatment approach is one of the best evidence-based protocols for children who have been abused and non-offending parents. For litigators who encounter TF-CBT in a case, or face an opposing expert who doesn't use it, the report is an excellent resource.

Importance of Non-Offending Parents in Therapy

In recent research, I ran across a study that is a few years old, but still important and frequently cited. The study worked with 100 families of sexually abused children who were exhibiting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related behavioral problems. The researchers randomly assigned the families to one of three cognitive behavioral interventions -- child only, non-offending parent and child, or parent only -- or simply information and encouragement to find a therapist. The study found that children who participated in the interventions, either child only or parent and child sessions, showed significant improvement over the other two groups, and the children who participated with their parent showed more improvement than any of the other groups. This study, and later ones that built upon it, show the importance of non-offending parents in a child's recovery from abuse.

More Evidence Supporting Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Child's MindA new study published in the Journal of Child Maltreatment adds more empirical evidence about the efficacy of Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).   The study reviewed follow-up assessments of 158 sexually abused children who had been treated with TF-CBT.  The children had shown significant improvement in 14 outcome measures, and this study showed sustained improvement in those measures at 6 months and 12 months after treatment.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Schools

Posted In Mental Health Research, Therapy

The Rand Corporation has issued an interesting report studying the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS).  The program started about 10 years ago in California to find a way for schools to help children traumatized by violence.  According to the report, the program significantly helps children avoid PTSD symptoms and depression.  The Rand report also provides a good summary of the last 10 years of research in the area.

I like many thing about this program, starting with the fact that it is based on solid mental health research.  Like all Cognitive Behavior programs, it is short-term, providing further evidence that children do not always need long stretches of therapy to experience significant improvement.

Learn more about the program at

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