How Many Therapy Sessions Are Needed for Childhood Trauma?

Treatment for childhood trauma has been proven to reduce symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other issues in both children and their families. The American Psychiatric Association recommends a 12-session treatment plan for post-traumatic stress disorder, which typically involves education about the thoughts and emotions of PTSD, followed by formal trauma processing and the development of skills to identify and address unhelpful thoughts related to traumatic events. Teens can have one-on-one therapy sessions with a therapist, in a group of other teens, or with family members present. Another type of cognitive behavioral therapy is also available, which usually takes place over a period of three months.

During these sessions, individuals confront their fears, memories, and emotions related to trauma with the help of a therapist in a safe environment. It is generally best to meet weekly, but biweekly sessions can be a good compromise for busy kids. Three of the most effective evidence-based therapies (EBTs) for early childhood trauma are trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT); Cohen et al., Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). Early childhood is an especially vulnerable period of development when it comes to exposure to trauma.

Therapy can help victims of childhood trauma lead meaningful lives with emotional and physical well-being. It is useful for treating PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in adults with long-term effects of childhood trauma. The three models discussed in this article have significant differences in terms of their theoretical orientation, the therapist's stance, treatment requirements, and strategies used to address mental health symptoms, which may make it difficult for caregivers to participate in multiple interventions at once. For example, all three treatments address disruptive behavior in children, but the therapist adopts a structured and directive stance in PCIT and TF-CBT, while the therapist adopts a reflective and mainly non-directive stance in CPP.

Some sessions are held as joint sessions with the child, caregiver, and therapist present. Evidence also suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy and other psychotherapies are effective in treating anxiety in children and adolescents. Online therapy is often less expensive and more accessible than traditional therapy for those living in communities without easy access to therapists. In this post, let's discuss how often children should see a therapist to experience positive changes in their mental health.

PCIT is conducted in two phases that use the therapist's directive guidance to help caregivers master skills based on play with the child in real time. Long-term effects of childhood trauma can increase the risk of mental health conditions such as PTSD and depression, chronic illnesses, or substance use disorders. For instance, when responding to mild misbehavior, a PCIT therapist may advise a parent to divert their attention to avoid reinforcing the misbehavior and thus reduce its frequency.

Leave Reply

All fileds with * are required