This article reviews recent advances in empirically supported psychotherapeutic treatments for children and adolescents experiencing trauma and provides a brief summary of available interventions, as well as a context for their use. We highlight the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s recent practice guidelines for trauma treatment and discuss their implications for clinicians, including the benefits of involving caregivers in treatment and the rationale for using practices that are specifically trauma-focused as first-line intervention. Finally, we discuss the status of research on the real-world implementation of these therapies and the need for further research, particularly regarding clinician knowledge and use of empirically supported practices, potential stepped-care approaches to trauma treatment, and the need to reduce attrition in child trauma research and practice.
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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
• Lang JM, Ford JD, Fitzgerald MM. An algorithm for determining use of trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy. Psychother. 2010;47(4):554–69. doi:10.1037/a0021184. Provides a useful, evidence-supported algorithm to aid clinicians in deciding whether their client is appropriate for TF-CBT. Also reviews the evidence base supporting the use of TF-CBT with regard to client age, trauma type, caregiver involvement, and the presence of co-occurring disorders. Discusses the effectiveness of TF-CBT without a trauma narrative and in combination with other trauma-focused therapies.
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No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Child and Adolescent Disorders
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Schneider, S.J., Grilli, S.F. & Schneider, J.R. Evidence-Based Treatments for Traumatized Children and Adolescents. Curr Psychiatry Rep 15, 332 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-012-0332-5
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Child (children)
- Empirically supported
- Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy
- Child-parent psychotherapy
- Combined parent-child cognitive behavioral therapy
- Preschool PTSD treatment
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
- Child and adolescent disorders