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Treatment for Trauma

What ages do you treat Trauma for at the Center for CBT? 

Kids, Teens, and Adults

What is trauma?

Trauma is the psychological and emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. There are no objective criteria to evaluate which events will cause post-trauma symptoms, however circumstances typically involve the loss of control, loss of sense of safety (emotional, physical, or social safety), betrayal, abuse of power, helplessness, pain, confusion and/or loss. The event need not rise to the level of war, natural disaster, nor personal assault to affect a person profoundly and alter their experiences. Traumatic situations that cause post-trauma symptoms vary quite dramatically from person to person and the need for treatment is determined more by the response than its trigger.


How do I know if I need trauma treatment?

Recovering from trauma takes time, and everyone heals at their own pace. However, you will likely benefit from trauma treatment if you have been living with any of the following symptoms for a month or more post-trauma:


  • difficulty concentrating or functioning at home or work

  • severe fear, anxiety, irritability, loss of interest in pleasurable activities or other depressive symptoms

  • difficulty forming close, satisfying relationships

  • terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks

  • avoidance of anything that reminds you of the trauma

  • emotional numbness and disconnection from others

  • difficulty relaxing, being easily startled, or “on guard”

  • negative beliefs about oneself, others, or the world

  • difficulty experiencing positive emotions

What does trauma treatment look like?

Center for CBT has clinicians with expertise in delivering the three most effective (according to many, many randomized clinical trials) types of evidence-based trauma treatments:


  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a type of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for individuals ages 16 and up looking to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs learned from their trauma about themselves, others, and the world regarding safety, trust, power, control, esteem, and intimacy.

  • Prolonged Exposure (PE) is a type of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for individuals ages 18 and up looking to gradually approach their trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations in order to minimize the impact of avoidance on their personal goals, relationships, and overall quality of life.

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma and their parents or caregivers.


How effective is Trauma treatment?

The evidence-based treatments for trauma listed above are generally delivered in 12 to 16 sessions and consistently facilitate significant reductions in intrusive symptoms (memories, flashbacks, nightmares), physiological arousal, avoidance behaviors, and negative beliefs and emotions that result from trauma. In addition to reducing symptoms directly resulting from one’s trauma, trauma-focused treatment leads to improved quality of life, increased ability to experience positive emotions, improved relationships, better sleep, and can decrease overall levels of anxiety and low mood in daily life. Essentially, these treatments can be an effective way to address trauma directly and reduce the indirect negative impacts of trauma on all areas of your life!

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