Trauma-Focused Prevention and Treatment Services

Home Treatment & Wellness Treatment Programs Trauma-Focused Prevention and Treatment Services
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Trauma-Focused Prevention and Treatment Program

Many survivors or witnesses of sexual and non-sexual assault, combat, accidents, natural disasters, a sudden death of a loved one, or other traumatic events suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other associated conditions. They may continue to feel heightened anxiety, helplessness, guilt, shame, and/or anger long after the trauma. Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, extreme distress when reminded of the trauma, sleep disturbances, difficulty concentrating, hyper-alertness, and loss of interest in usual activities. In the Trauma-Focused Treatment Programs, we offer highly effective psychotherapy treatments that have undergone rigorous research trials to determine their efficacy, i.e., “evidence-based,” for children, adolescents, and adults who continue to suffer with PTSD and other long-term trauma-related symptoms and problems.

The following evidence-based cognitive and behavioral therapies (CBT) for PTSD are offered:

  • Prolonged Exposure
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Trauma-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children

All of these treatments are CBT-based and consist of on average 8 to 15 weekly or twice weekly individual therapy sessions. Sessions can last anywhere from 45 - 90 minutes, which would be determined in collaboration with your clinician, and are designed to enable trauma survivors to overcome their fear, anxiety, and stress.

Suitability for the program and the above therapies is determined through an initial evaluation with a clinician with specialized training in the Trauma Program. Patients are interviewed at length and complete a number of assessment forms to ensure an accurate diagnosis. The information gathered during this evaluation is used to determine if the person has PTSD and/or other trauma related difficulties and to determine which treatment best matches the patient's needs. The results of the evaluation are discussed with the patient and treatment recommendations are offered. If the evaluation indicates that the treatment programs at CBC are appropriate for the problem, then arrangements for treatment will be made following the evaluation.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Children Affected by Trauma

Within our Trauma Treatment Program at CBC, we also treat children who have been affected by trauma overcome trauma-related difficulties through a treatment called Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Examples of traumas that children can be affected by include sexual abuse, domestic violence, the death of a loved one, contracting a life-threatening illness, or enduring a major accident.

Following exposure to trauma, children can sometimes exhibit changes in mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples of such changes can include:

  • Unhelpful beliefs and emotions related to the trauma, including a sense of guilt for their role in the event, anger at parents for not knowing about it, or fear that others will treat them differently if they know about the trauma
  • Acting out behaviors, which may include engaging in age inappropriate sexual behaviors or other risk taking behaviors
  • Intrusive and unwanted thoughts about the trauma or nightmares
  • Avoidance of reminders of trauma, including certain people, places, things, sounds, or smells
  • Hyperarousal, characterized by being easily startled or quick to displays of emotion such as crying that seems out of proportion to the situation or stimuli.

TF-CBT is a highly effective treatment rooted in cognitive and behavioral principles and techniques and also includes parents or caregivers in the therapy process if indicated. Through TF-CBT, children learn ways to challenge distorted beliefs they may have developed as a result of the trauma and are encouraged to talk about their traumatic experiences in a supportive environment. Parents learn ways to cope effectively with their own emotional distress and learn the best ways to support their child. The course of TF-CBT generally is about 12 to 18 sessions of 45-90 minute sessions. Sessions are either individual sessions with the child or the caregiver or joint sessions with the child and parent together.

Treatment with TF-CBT has been shown to:

  • Reduce intrusive and unwanted thoughts or nightmares about the trauma
  • Teach children how to cope with trauma reminders in effective ways
  • Reduce emotions such as sadness, guilt, shame, and anxiety
  • Teach children personal safety skills
  • Reduce behavior problems
  • Increase social competence and trust

If you have any questions about the services we provide in the Trauma Program, feel free to reach out to the Coordinator of Trauma Focused Treatment Programs, Dr. Lauren Bonavitacola at (914) 385-1150, extension 4717.

More Information

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) - An organization with the National Institute of health dedicated to mental health research:

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies- An organizations that is dedicated to sharing information about the effects of trauma and the discovery and dissemination of knowledge about policy, program and service initiatives that seek to reduce traumatic stressors and their immediate and long-term consequences: Center for PTSD (NCPTSD) - A center established by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to improve the well-being of U.S. veterans through PTSD research and education:

For more information and resources on childhood trauma, we recommend the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN):


Make an Appointment or a Referral

Please contact our Director of Intake Services at 212-595-9559 (ext.5) or 914-385-1150 (ext.1), or fill out the form above, with any questions regarding eligibility, for further information, or to make a referral. If you are a current patient at CBC, please speak to your individual therapist to see how this group may be of added benefit to you.