Trauma Therapy

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based, conjoint child and parent/caregiver psychotherapy and psycho-education model for children and adolescents who are experiencing clinically significant emotional and behavioral difficulties related to traumatic life events they have experienced.

TF-CBT is a relatively brief (typically 12-20 sessions), components-based treatment model that incorporates interventions and techniques based on cognitive, behavioral, family therapy, and humanistic principles. Additionally, our program offers in-home psycho-education sessions for youth and families to learn more about trauma and how it impacts the brain and behavior, explore and practice coping skills, practice relaxation, introduce alternative parenting skills for difficult behavior, and work on identifying and regulating emotions.

The goals of TF-CBT are to enable children and youth who have experienced serious traumatic events, and their supportive caregivers, to:

  • Learn effective skills to cope with trauma-related emotional and behavioral problems

  • Face and resolve those problems in a safe and therapeutic way

  • Effectively integrate their trauma experiences and help them move on with their lives in a safe and positive manner

Specifically, TF-CBT is designed to reduce symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), trauma-related depression, anxiety, behavior problems, and common trauma-related cognitive and emotional problems such as fear, shame, embarrassment, guilt, and self-blame. TF-CBT also improves caregiver support of the child, parenting skills, and parent-child communication.

To refer a client for the TF-CBT program, send the following documents to BHReferral@hcs-az.org:

  • Direct Service Referral form with up to date contact information
  • Initial Assessment/ Annual Psychological Evaluation including current diagnosis and BHP signature
  • CFT or provider Service Plan with parent/ guardian signature identifying TF-CBT
  • Strengths, Needs, Cultural Discovery (if one has been completed)
  • CAS II for youth over 5
  • Crisis Plan (if one has been completed)


  • 3-17 years old
  • Enrolled in AHCCCS
  • Enrolled in a contracted health plan
  • Have a known history of experiencing one or more potentially traumatic events including:
    • Experiencing or witnessing interpersonal violence
    • An unexpected, traumatic death of a loved one
    • A motor vehicle accident
    • A natural or man-made disaster
  •  Have significant symptoms of PTSD. (The child does not have to meet full diagnostic criteria for PTSD.)
  • Parent/Caregiver involvement in treatment is highly desirable. (It is not required but substantial parts of the treatment will be lost.)
  • Services can be provided in our office or in the client’s home, provided the home is an appropriate setting.

*Animal Assisted Therapy is available to be partnered with the TF-CBT model once deemed appropriate by the therapist.