Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

What is TF-CBT?

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a trauma-focused intervention for youth (ages 3-18) and their non-offending caregiver.

  • Appropriate for youth who are experiencing symptoms directly related to a traumatic event(s)
  • Average length of treatment: 8-25 weekly, 60-90 minute sessions
  • Targets posttraumatic stress, depressive, and behavioral symptoms
  • Maximum benefits when primary caregiver is actively involved in treatment

The TF-CBT  is a good fit for agencies with:

  • Leadership and staff who strive to be trauma-informed in the services you provide
  • Leadership and staff who are committed to evidence-based and evidence-informed treatment
  • A referral base with a large number of youth who potentially meet the criteria above

TF-CBT is a good fit for clinicians who:

  • Have at least one year of post-Master’s clinical experience at the agency
  • Have a cognitive-behavioral and family systems orientation
  • Are comfortable with directive approach in clinical treatment
  • Have good family engagement skills (e.g., low no-show rates, positive feedback from families)
  • Are able to accept constructive feedback well
  • Are motivated to learn and grow skills and to implement evidence-based practices
  • Have timely and clear documentation and good time management skills
  • Are creative and energetic
  • Experience compassion satisfaction from treating families with trauma histories

Service Delivery

TF-CBT has been successfully delivered in diverse settings where a non-offending caregiver is actively involved in treatment, such as clinics, in-home, residential treatment facilities, schools, and juvenile detention facilities.


Decreased post-traumatic stress symptoms continuing 2 years post treatment

Decreased depressive symptoms continuing 2 years post treatment

Decreased sexual behavior problems

Decreased dissociation continuing 1 year post treatment

Decreased externalizing behaviors

Decreased trauma-related parental distress continuing for 1 year post treatment

Improved parenting skills

Training Requirements

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Learning Collaboratives train teams from community based mental health agencies. Our model relies on clinicians training together with an administrative leader from their agency to ensure successful implementation and sustainability.

TF-CBT Learning Collaboratives include 3 face-to-face training days (or 6 virtual half-days) with bi-weekly clinical consultation calls between training dates. In order to graduate, clinicians must complete a full course of TF-CBT with at least 2 clients, 1 of which must be a sexual trauma case.

Who Should Apply?

  • Applicants are encouraged to apply as part of a team, which can bolster clinical implementation and model sustainability efforts both during and after the training period.
  • When reviewing applications, preference will be given to committed teams with a highly supportive Senior Leader.
  • Individual practitioners are also welcome to apply and may be paired with other individual practitioners for support/peer supervision during the Learning Collaborative.

Team Requirements

Senior Leaders (at least 1 per team) must have:

  • Senior Leaders must have administrative responsibility within their organization and/or within the local mental health community. Equally, they must have the authority to make systematic changes (e.g., policies, procedures, budgeting) to support the implementation of TF-CBT within their organization and/or across the community.

Clinicians must:

  • Provide psychotherapy to at least five children per week
  • Serve the NC Medicaid population, or have the ability to offer services free of charge
  • Be a licensed clinician in North Carolina, including clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, psychological associates, psychologists, child psychiatrists, nurse specialists or practitioners. (Provisionally licensed applicants will be considered)

Training Opportunities

We offer 2 training cohorts per year in TF-CBT. Training cohorts are 12 months long and consist of face-to-face learning sessions and faculty consultation. Contact NC CTP for more information.