Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Dorchester Children's Advocacy Center provides Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy to children at the center. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidenced based therapy that helps children, youth and their families, who have been affected by traumatic events.  The treatment is designed to last from 4-6 months with weekly sessions.  Traumatic events include physical and sexual child abuse, exposure to domestic violence, violent or sudden death of a loved one, or any other experience that creates threat, fear, or distress.  The child/youth may actually experience the event; witness the event; or have a close loved one who experienced the event.  TF-CBT focuses on traumatic stress, but it also helps with depression, other anxieties, and some behavior problems that might go along with traumatic stress. Traumatic stress is a reaction to the traumatic event(s) that is very upsetting or that causes problems for the child/youth at home, school, or in other activities.  TF-CBT helps manage and reduce trauma symptoms using relaxation techniques, coping skills and thought processing.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Many parents and caretakers have experienced trauma themselves in their childhood or adolescence and have never received treatment related to these experiences. This parental/caregiver trauma history can hinder proper family functioning, social support, nurturing, and attachment. 

Trauma can affect all areas of your life including your relationships with your significant other and children. Trauma can even impact your parenting. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a cognitive-behavioral therapy (treatment that focuses on thoughts and feelings) for PTSD and related conditions. CPT focuses on the connections between thoughts, feelings, behaviors and bodily sensations. CPT is an evidence based theory which means that it has been proved to be effective through rigorous scientific research.

CPT provides a way to understand why recovery from traumatic events is difficult and how symptoms of PTSD affect daily life. The focus is on identifying how traumatic experiences change thoughts and beliefs, and how thoughts influence current feelings and behaviors. An important part of the treatment is addressing ways of thinking that might keep individuals "stuck" and get in the way of recovery from symptoms of PTSD and other problems. 

Alternative for Families-Cognitive Behavior Therapy (AF-CBT)

Alternatives for Families: a Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT) is an inter- vention for families who are struggling with anger, conflict, and aggression. It can also help families at risk for or worried about aggression and violence.

AF-CBT promotes use of positive coping and self-control skills, effective discipline strategies, and constructive family prob- lem solving and communication.

Families are typically seen on an outpa- tient basis, usually about once per week, but scheduling is flexible. Average length of treatment may vary, and treatment con- tent is tailored to each family’s needs.

Services involve individual child, individual caregiver, and parent-child or family sesions. We may begin services with who- ever is available (caregiver or child). Any adult cargiver (biological, foster, adoptive, etc.) with at least one child is eligible for services.


  • Enhance child and family safety Strengthen family relationships, skills, and routines
  • Reduce the risk for high conflict inter- actions
  • Reduce caregiver levels of anger and use of force
  • Promote effective, non-physical discipline strategies

For more information on any of our therapy programs, please call Millicent Walker at 843-875-1551.