Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a powerful evidence-based therapy that has been proven by research to greatly reduce fear and panic attacks in children and adolescents who have suffered either from sexual abuse or from other traumatic and life-threatening experiences. TF-CBT is a type of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy that focuses specifically on reducing anxious and fearful feelings and thoughts in those who have experienced trauma. It teaches young people the skills that they need to learn to face what has happened to them and to cure the panic disorder that stops them from living a happy life. And while this method has been more researched with children, its core principles are also effective with adults who also suffer the from symptoms of panic attacks in their lives.
This model works so well because it not only desensitizes the client to painful feelings, it addresses core beliefs about the trauma that cause the pain. Beliefs that the child is bad, to blame, and that all adults are scary and dangerous are but some of the beliefs that children have when they suffer abuse. This therapy model deals head-on with those beliefs and helps to change the child’s view that he or she is bad to the correct view, that the child was simply a human who was caught in a dangerous situation. The treatment is so effective, that it has become a standard method approved by government therapy programs.
Five years of child counseling in California agencies has given me experience in Play Therapy. Children learn and grow and heal through play. It is natural, it is human. It is a fundamental part of my child counseling sessions. In addition to being supervised for over a year by a therapist with years of experience in Play Therapy (Lolita Domingue, LMFT), I received training from Ken Schwartzenberger, LCSW, RPT-S, while working at San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center. The following clip is a great explanation of why Play Therapy works so well with children.