Trauma Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, as the name implies is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that addresses the specific emotional and mental health needs of children, adolescents, adult survivors, and families who are struggling to overcome the destructive effects of early trauma.

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is especially sensitive to the unique problems of youth with post-traumatic stress and mood disorders resulting from abuse, violence, or grief. Because the client is usually a child, TF-CBT often brings non-offending parents or other caregivers into treatment and incorporates principles of family therapy.

When It’s Used

Anyone who has experienced a single or repeated experience of sexual, physical, or mental abuse or who has developed post-traumatic symptoms, depression, or anxiety as a result of the loss of a loved one or exposure to violence in the home or community can benefit from TF-CBT.

If a child or adolescent also exhibits serious behavioral, substance-abuse, or suicidal-ideation problems, other forms of treatment, such as dialectical behavior therapy, may be more appropriate as an initial intervention and can be followed up with a trauma-sensitive approach.

There is little evidence that trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy is the best intervention for adult war veterans with complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

What to Expect

TF-CBT is a short-term intervention that generally lasts anywhere from eight to 25 sessions and can take place in an outpatient mental health clinic, group home, community center, hospital, school, or in-home setting. Cognitive behavioral techniques are used to help modify distorted or unhelpful thinking and negative reactions and behaviors.

At the same time, a family therapy approach looks at interactions among family members and other family dynamics that are contributing to the problem and aims to teach new parenting, stress-management, and communication skills.

How It Works

The trauma-focused approach to psychotherapy was first developed in the 1990s by psychiatrist Judith Cohen and psychologists Esther Deblinger and Anthony Mannarino, whose original intent was to better serve children and adolescents who had experienced sexual abuse. TF-CBT has expanded over the years to include services for youths who have experienced any form of severe trauma or abuse.

Early trauma can lead to guilt, anger, feelings of powerlessness, self-abuse, acting out behavior, and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects children and adults, can manifest in a number of ways.

Most likely as bothersome recurring thoughts about the traumatic experience, emotional numbness, sleep issues, concentration problems, and extreme physical and emotional responses to anything that triggers a memory of the trauma.

By integrating the theories and techniques of several therapeutic interventions, TF-CBT can address and improve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress in youth.

What to Look for in a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

Look for a licensed mental health professional with specialized training and experience in cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy as well as further training and supervised experience in trauma-focused therapy. In addition to these credentials, it is important to find a therapist with whom you and your child feel comfortable working.


  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Child Welfare Information Gateway. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for children affected by sexual abuse or trauma. August 2012.
  • Gillies D, Taylor F, Gray C, O’Brien L, D’Abrew N. Psychological therapies for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents (review). Evidence-Based Child Health. May 2013;8(3):1004–1116.
  • Bisson JI, Roberts NP, Andrew M, Cooper R, Lewis C. Psychological therapies for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;12.
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy National Therapist Certification Program website.



Reading for Wellbeing: How Books Can Benefit Our Mental Health

Books have the power to change lives.

Reading allows us to experience what it would be like to be living someone else life. It makes us more empathetic and understanding. It teaches us lessons about the world we live in by immersing us in worlds we don’t.

Reading allows us the opportunity to recognise ourselves in others. Our experiences, worries, dreams and flaws. It can make us feel heard, or help us solve problems within our own lives using the example of others.

Not only can we learn how to be the kind of human we want to be from books, but they can also help us to relax and switch off from our realities. Inhabiting the pages of a book for as little as half an hour a day allows us to switch off from the constant buzz of our thoughts. Reading can allow our stresses and worries to pass us by in much the same way that mindful meditation can.

With more and more people turning to the practise of ‘bibliotherapy’ as a way to care for their mental wellbeing, it is perhaps true now more than ever that ‘reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’. Organisations such as ReLit are researching the benefits of reading on stress and anxiety, whilst in Shropshire the world’s first Poetry Pharmacy has opened to provide literary antedotes to emotional ailments. (If you can’t make it to Shropshire don’t worry! The Poetry Pharmacy Anthology is the perfect home remedy instead). It is a testemant to the written word that we are continuing to look to literature for guidance even in an age ruled by smart phones and the internet.


The positive impact that reading can have on our mental health is something that I have long been interested in. I find reading to be a great way for me to relax and shut off from the diluge of static noise that fills my head throughout the day. Whilst reading is by no means a stand-alone solution to mental illness, for some it can provide respite and comfort when it is most needed.

This weekend the news of Caroline Flack’s tragic suicide broke across the UK. This raised questions about the impact the media can have on the lives of those in the spotlight, and the stigma that still exists when it comes to talking about our mental health. From the dark cloud that this news threw over the country, two bookshops and a group of readers shone through.

The Big Green Bookshop and Blackwell’s Bookshop, Oxford received hundreds of donations from readers after offering to send a copy of Matt Haig’s memoir Reasons to Stay Alive out to anyone who felt they needed it.

Hundreds of people came forward to explain what Haig’s book meant to them and in some cases how it had saved the lives of those suffering from mental illness.

This tiny kernal of light has come out of a tragic and heart-breaking suicide, but truly does attest to the power of books and the fact that you are never truly alone; there are always people out there who understand what you are going through and are willing to help.

In the wake of Caroline Flack’s death and the outpour of love from the bookish community from those suffering, I decided to share the books that I have found comfort in during my own mental health journey.

Some of these titles deal practically with mental health, some contained the representation that I felt I needed to see and others simply felt like a hug when I needed it most. During a time when more people than ever are struggling with their mental health, we must remember that there are always books. 

Reading for Wellbeing: How Books Can Benefit Our Mental Health
— Read on








Injured Athlete

The Injured Athlete

The blissful mental state of being on the court or the playing field is like no other feeling in the world.

For most, being an athlete becomes their identity; being an athlete is embedded in their soul. It is an inner life, an inner fire.

When one yearns for something, they sacrifice all they can to achieve success. It is not only about the success; the fact that one can truly create something within themselves that lifts their self-worth makes an athlete willing to give up everything (e.g., family, social life) and reach for nothing more.

When an athlete with a promising future succumbs to a career-ending injury, it can be devastating. It has been hypothesized that individuals who derive their self-worth solely from their identity as an athlete are at increased risk for depression after experiencing an athletic injury (Brewer, 1993; Heil, 1993).

The range of emotions that they experience is tumultuous at best. I know this, because I was one of those athletes. You go to a dark place. The physical and mental pain takes you into a world you have never been to: “Grief encompasses a culmination of reactions, including fear, rage, guilt, blame, and the tendency to be self-destructive” (Pohl, 1996, p. 117).

After a career-ending injury, these athletes fall into depression and suffer moderate anxiety that encompasses thoughts about their physical recovery and what kind of future lies ahead: “Depression occurs with events that disrupt the roles by which people define their worth, if these people lack alternative sources of self-worth” (Brewer, 1993)

While working with injured athletes, I tell them to remember what made them an athlete in the first place and begin moving forward by setting one goal at a time. Goal setting as a motivational tool allows athletes to translate commitment into specific and relevant actions (Ford et al., 1993).

Goal setting can empower an injured athlete, as long as the goals are realistic and short term. The acquisition of small successes, such as getting stronger physically, leads to becoming stronger mentally. This journey takes time.

Working with injured athletes takes patience. They not only need physical assistance, but also social and emotional support. When something so personal, something you have dedicated such hard work to and sacrificed so much for, is taken away, it is a loss like no other. It is a death, a divorce, a loss of oneself.

     “Sometimes an athlete can fall prey not just to the injury itself, but to the emotional trauma that surrounds it” —Heil, 1998, p.34

More often than not, in order for something to be fixed physically, it first needs to be fixed mentally and emotionally. And so many times social support is one of the most important coping resources available to athletes to reduce the debilitating effects of the stress response (Petrie, 1993).

In order for the injured athlete to perform successfully in rehabilitation and in life after, the athlete must believe things are going to be all right. This is where social support from the athlete’s teammates, friends, family and rehabilitation staff comes in.

The transition to becoming a non-competitive athlete is traumatic. The loss of a sports career, no matter the type of sport or how early or late in a career, feels as if the carpet has been pulled right out from under the athlete’s feet without warning, like hitting a brick wall.

Today, recovery is not just about overcoming the physical injury itself; getting over the mental and emotional injury amongst athletes is also a common problem. Recovery takes time; it takes great strength to move on and to let go.

These are not always easy tasks for someone who was or felt they were on their way to a plush athletic career. The athlete experiences loss at all levels; not only does a career get lost, but the friendships and the camaraderie that were built along the way disappear as well.

     “Without sports to help define or evaluate themselves, many athletes are left confused as to their identities, low in self-esteem and confidence” —Crook and Robertson, 1991, p. 119

Sport psychologists understand that the end of an athletic career is a traumatic transition; goals must be set to create hope and avoid situational depression, which can become chronic.


Take-Home Points
  1. An athlete does not lose their motivation if directed and reminded that even though there was a loss, there still is so much to gain. There can always be a different or parallel dream with even more to gain.
  2. Identifying when an athlete has lost themselves will happen either by a coach, friend, or sport psychologist before the athlete even knows it themselves.
  3. The mind will only be defeated if it fails to identify its strengths.


Athletes have a fire within and a passion; their energy needs to be channeled in a positive capacity for them to realize they still have limitless potential, even if it is not on a court or a playing field.


Brewer, B. (September,1993). Self -Identity and Specific Vulnerability to Depressed Mood. Journal of Personality. 3(61). Pp.344-354.
Brewer,B., Van Raalte, J., & Linder, D. (1993). Athletic Identity: Hercules’ Muscles or Achilles Heel? International Journal of Sport Psychology, 24, 237-254.
Crook, J. & Robertson, S. (1991).  Transitions out of Elite Sport.  International Journal of Sport Psychology, 22. pp.115-121.
Ford, J. & Gordon, S. (1997).  Perspectives of sport physiotherapists on the frequency and significance of psychological factors in professional practice; Implications for curriculum design in professional training.  Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 29, 34-40.
Heil, J. (1993). Psychology of sport injury. Champaign: IL; Human Kinetics.
Taylor, J & Taylor, S. (1997). Psychological Approaches to Sports Injury and Rehabilitation. Aspen Publishers.  Aspen: CO.
Petrie, T. A. (1993). The moderating effects of social support and the playing status on the life stress-injury relationship. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 5(1), 1-16.
Mental Training For MMA

Prove It To Yourself

Prove it to yourself sometimes is more hard then you anticipate, because life is tough, that’s a given.

When you stand up, you’re gonna be shoved back down. When you’re down, you’re gonna be stepped on. My advice to you doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles.

It’s no secret, you’ll fall down, you stumble, you get pushed, you land square on your face.

And every time that happens, you get back on your feet. You get up just as fast as you can, no matter how many times you need to do it.

Remember this, success has been and continues to be defined as getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down. If experience has taught me anything, it’s that nothing is free and living ain’t easy.

Life is hard, real hard, incredibly hard. You fail more often than you win, nobody is handing you anything. It’s up to you to puff up your chest, stretch your neck and overcome all that is difficult, the nasty, the mean, the unfair.

You want more than what you’ve now, PROVE IT! You want beat the very best out there that is, get out there and earn it!

Once you decide that, you’ll know where it is you want to be, then you won’t stop pushing forward until you get there!

That’s how winners are made. At the end of the day, success is what we all want.

We all wanna win, and the race will be won.

There is no question about that. So c’mon, get out on top, run faster, dream bigger, live better than you ever have before.

This is in you. You can do this. Do it for yourself. Prove it to yourself! 👉🏆



The published material is the author’s opinion and meets the accepted scientific standards at the time of publication, but science is constantly changing. Therefore can not guarantee that the information is complete, current, or error-free. The material is not and does not substitute for medical and psychological consultation; so use this material for information only and not for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. If you have any doubts about your health – contact your doctor and psychologist.

*For other questions – ask the author.
*The material presented may be further modified.



Talent athlete

Talent Isn’t Enough. This is Why Some Athletes are actually the Best!

I’ve talked with a lot of people, and what I found out was a surprise. I’ve asked non athletic people is they think that talent is enough and that’s way the best athletes succeed in sport.

A huge number of non athletic people said that “talent it is enough”. Yes! You need to have natural abilities for something so special, like performance to ocure in any sport. But, that’s not all you need.

Athletes are people with extraordinary abilities, constantly trained and not so easy to form. Also we need to understand that the fundamental factors of sports performance are involving multiple areas, like: heredity, morphological characteristics, abilities, experience during childhood, previous sports experiences, competency and training, interest and motivation, also important are family culture and friendship. And is not to be ignored the coach’s conduct, the compatibility of the relationship between coach and the athlete.

It may appear that natural abilities and physical usually is all that matters in wining a competition but the reality is different from the statements of athletes. In reality it seems that in competition mind becomes far superior to physics, some even claim a 90% mental-physical ratio.

Whether this is accurate or near-accurate, one can assume that sports is not necessarily about who is the best athlete on paper, but who has the willpower and self determination to give it 110%.

Success in special activities such as sport, with a competitive character is based on the ability to voluntarily self-regulate emotions, thoughts and actions, the ability to concentrate and quickly switch attention, to perform a difficult task for a long time, to sustain the effort in conditions of fatigue and interference of external disturbing factors.

Also, I would like to point out that any athlete who wants to perform in any sport, needs to know his pluses and minuses and his abilities in order to improve. Because some of them are not natural inherit qualities. That means it can be trained with proper support.

A Sport Psychologist can help you overcome problems and fears, such as fear of failure, fear performance, fear of embarrassment, and general performance anxiety, also can spike your mental toughness, willpower, determination, and your level of commitment.

In the end I will leave you meditate to the words of the grate Socrate. He strongly believed that every human being had a responsibility to live up to their physical potential. “No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”

What’s your opinion on the matter, do you believe that talent is enough?