Publication Date

Summer 2021

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Timothy Thornberry (Director), Dr. Sarah Ochs (Director), Dr. Sally Kuhlenschmidt (Advisor)

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


More than two-thirds of children and adolescents experience a traumatic event by the age of 16. Trauma comes in many forms and affects people in many ways. Trauma can affect behavioral, cognitive, emotional, physical, and neurological development. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is a type of therapy created to treat children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. TF-CBT is an evidencebased treatment (EBT) and is currently the only EBT whose focus is solely on treating trauma in children and adolescents. This article reviews the literature assessing studies using randomized controlled trials (RCT’s) to determine the effectiveness and efficacy of TF-CBT in different countries and cultures, with different age groups, and across different settings. These studies suggest TF-CBT significantly and clinically reduces symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, anxiety, and depression, and improves the quality of life. Based on these results, as a provider, TF-CBT is a treatment worth investing time and money in learning about and becoming certified in when working with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Cognitive Psychology