Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Approximately 1 in 4 youth will experience some type of trauma in their lifetime.

In many cases, youth can get through these tough situations with the support of their family and friends. But sometimes the problems are more serious. Some youth begin to have intense feelings, intrusive thoughts and have difficult behaviors that caregivers don’t understand. For these youth, Wedgwood’s TF-CBT (Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) counseling can help.

When can TF-CBT be helpful?

TF-CBT is often helpful for youth who have experienced some type of trauma as well as experiencing one or more of the following:
Anxiety or moodiness
Difficulty concentrating
Nightmares or trouble sleeping
Being “jumpy” or “on edge” a lot of the time
Not trusting others or not wanting to talk about the trauma
Anger/ Irritability
Low self-esteem

How is TF-CBT different from “regular” counseling?

It is more intense - Youth and caregiver attend weekly sessions, either individually or together depending on the topic for the session.

It is focused on skills - Treatment is focused on learning about trauma and symptoms along with skills that will help youth and caregivers manage their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in more appropriate ways.

It is exposure work - Throughout treatment youth and caregivers are doing gradual exposure work on being able to discuss the traumatic events they have endured; processing through intense feelings, thoughts and behaviors specific to trauma.

It demands a high level of accountability - As youth work through TF-CBT and build their skills, they are expected to actively participate in TF-CBT. This includes practicing skills at home and demonstrating an understanding of these skills.

It is evidence based - There is strong research demonstrating that TF-CBT works. After completing TF-CBT youth are better able to manage their intense feelings, intrusive thoughts and difficult behaviors as it relates to their traumatic background.

It offers support to caregivers - Caring for youth who have been traumatized is challenging, and often requires new approaches to connect with them. Our TF-CBT program stresses caregiver participation and support.

Eight steps of treatment:

  • Psycho-education for parents and youth
  • Relaxation skills
  • Affect regulation
  • Cognitive coping
  • Trauma processing
  • In-vivo exposure
  • Conjoint sessions
  • Enhanced safety and social skills

Clinicians provide weekly with both parent and child

How can I find out if TF-CBT is the best treatment for my child?

The first step is for you and your youth to complete a TF-CBT screen. To schedule a screen, call 616-942-7294 and complete a brief phone intake. During this call, please indicate your interest in TF-CBT and have your insurance information available. (Most insurance is accepted, including Medicaid).

All of our clinicians are Masters-level licensed and professionally trained therapists who are, or are in the process of becoming, Nationally Certified Therapists in TF-CBT.

We accept private insurance and Medicaid. Individualized services are available to help with your unique concerns and goals.

Compassionate Care - Professionally Excellent

Wedgwood Christian Services has provided innovative and comprehensive treatment for youth and families since 1960. We offer a continuum of care dedicated to supporting and restoring the well-being of children and their families.


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