Trauma Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy


People can be severely impacted by the trauma they face in their lives. The most vulnerable population is children and adolescents and this can bring insecurity in them. When they are faced with ongoing traumatic events like domestic violence or some other kind of sexual abuse, they can lose their ability to trust people around them. People usually try to forget the trauma by ignoring it as if that didn’t happen or by avoiding the things and events which could make them have those memories back to the present. But this strategy to deal with the problems will not help them. Because they can make the condition worse as the trauma will show up in the future in the form of anxiety, depression, nightmares, and PTSD. Even when these conditions do not develop, scars will always be there in the form of low self-esteem, low self-confidence, trust issues, etc., and with this, the treatment of trauma is very important.

What is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

A form of cognitive behavioral therapy called trauma-focused CBT helps trauma patients who are struggling to recover from the negative impacts of traumatic previous experiences. One of the best forms of treatment for trauma-based disorders, particularly in adolescents and young children, is trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It was created specifically to help those between the ages of three and eighteen. Numerous clinical trials have repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of this relatively brief therapeutic model. The best online therapy India, you can take best online therapy consultation and therapies with the best online psychologist in India”

Trauma is characterized as an emotional, psychological reaction to a highly upsetting or unpleasant experience or incident. It can be compared to suffering from a disease or injury, being in an accident, going through a divorce, or losing a loved one. Traumatic events like torture or rape can also be extremely harmful. Even though the majority of us have gone through some form of a traumatic event in our lives, each of us is affected by it differently. The effects of the event remain longer than usual for some people because they are unable to heal from it. As a result, the person might continue to experience trauma symptoms until they seek professional assistance.

Effect of trauma on the brain

Someone's body and brain alter as a result of trauma. The event's sensory details are stored in the brain, and the memories may repeat. Many people have mood swings and disturbing or unpleasant dreams as a result of this, which eventually pass with time. However, many who have PTSD will discover that their symptoms get worse with time and start to interfere with their daily lives.

The amygdala, which is located in the limbic region of our brain, functions as a filter by examining the threat to which our brain has already reacted and determining whether or not it actually poses a threat. It provides access to the neocortex if there is no genuine threat. The brain switches into what is known as "fight or flight mode" when it detects a threat. After that, the body responds to the brain's commands.

Benefits of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Trauma-Focused CBT is based on the belief that our actions and emotions are a direct result of our ideas, not because of things that are outside of us, such as other individuals, circumstances, or events. TF-CBT enables us to change and enhance our thoughts and behaviors regardless of what is occurring elsewhere. Numerous advantages of TF-CBT include:

  • Recognizing bad feelings and ideas
  • Preventing relapse in addiction
  • Managing grief and loss
  • Controlling anger
  • Managing persistent pain
  • Combating PTSD and recovering from trauma
  • Dealing with sleep difficulties
  • Resolving issues in relationships

Treatment of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) focuses on a person's unrealistic and/or harmful views about their traumatic event as well as how the trauma has affected their beliefs about themselves, other people, and the world. Because thoughts can trigger strong negative emotions like fear or blame, these thoughts may make the memories or memories and flashbacks of the trauma highly uncomfortable and distressing. The goal is to carefully identify and change any unrealistic or harmful thoughts. 

Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA): CETA targets post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and/or depression symptoms in individuals who have been influenced by traumatic situations. The objective is to select the therapy components that correspond to the individual's unique symptoms and then offer the treatment components that are effective for the unique symptoms that are most harmful to the client. Sessions typically focus on one aspect of the treatment at a time. Some parts can require more than one session. Depending on how the treatment is progressing, the clinical target and treatment elements may need to be changed. The individual can resume living a regular life once the distressing symptoms are reduced.

Prolonged exposure (PE): PE aims to reduce the strong unpleasant feelings brought on by memories or reminders of the trauma. The two main unpleasant feelings associated with memory are fear and shame. It is believed that facing trauma memories or flashbacks in a structured way eventually causes the negative feelings associated with the experiences to disappear. As a result, recalling or being reminded of the trauma is no longer as painful. The individual can lead a more normal life when the memories or reminders are not as painful and do not need to be avoided.

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Contributed by: - Dr (Prof) R K SuriBest Clinical Psychologist in Delhi, NCR  &  Dr. Sakshi Kochhar, Psychologist