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Trauma-Focused CBT

Sometimes life is too big of a challenge for your child to handle alone, especially after something traumatic has happened. At Bright Star Counselling, we want your child to feel they can talk when they need to talk and feel they're being heard in a circle of care, no matter what kind of big feelings or situation they're facing now or processing after the event. That's why in certain cases, we may suggest trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (also known as trauma-focused CBT, or TF-CBT).

What is Trauma-focused CBT?

Trauma-focused CBT is an evidence-based therapy we offer to help your child or youth and your family understand and process traumatic experiences. We may recommend this therapy if your child has a known history of trauma, if they're currently experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and if they have depression, anxiety, and/or shame related to their traumatic experience. 

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A treatment plan may look something like this:



  • Reduce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Reduce depression or anxiety and exposure to triggers

  • Improve behavioural issues 

  • Improve parenting skills and parental support, and reduce parental distress

  • Develop parent-child communication, attachment, and ability to provide safety 

  • Improve adaptive functioning 

  • Reduce shame and embarrassment related to traumatic experiences

TF-CBT directly provides service to to your child or youth to address:


  • Feelings of shame

  • Distorted beliefs about self and others

  • Behavioural and self-regulation issues 

  • PTSD and related issues


Homework: you as the parent are given weekly assignments to practice treatment components at home, alone and to support and practice with your child, who is also given homework during specific sessions to reinforce and practice skills learned in therapy. 

How does it work?

Trauma-focused CBT has interventions specifically oriented to meet the needs of your child or youth if they're experiencing emotional and psychological troubles as a result of trauma. It's incorporated with humanistic, cognitive behavioural, and familial strategies. 


By providing a safe and confidential environment to your child, our therapists are able to allow your child to open up about their feelings and experiences. During this time, we apply the cognitive and learning theories of treatment.

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The core components of TF-CBT are:

  • Psychoeducation and parenting skills

  • Relaxation

  • Affective regulation

  • Cognitive processing of the trauma

  • Trauma narrative 

  • In vivo mastery of trauma reminders

  • Conjoint child-parent sessions

  • Enhancing future safety and development

The success of TF-CBT depends on a trusting, genuine therapeutic relationship between our therapist, your child, and you as the parent, as we all work closely with one another. 

Together, we can give you the resources and skills necessary to help your child grow and develop and thrive.

Do you still have questions about our service or what it fully entails?

If you're still not sure, we're always ready to listen to your concerns. Book a free phone consultation with one of our family therapists today.

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