A child’s ability to bounce back from the loss of a loved one or from a traumatic life event is incredible. Some kids, through the love and support of their family and friends, are able to get back to their regular routine without it seeming as if the experience has impacted on their ability to function in the world. However, for other children, the experience of losing a loved one or undergoing a traumatic event can have a profound and long-lasting negative impact on a their ability to go about their normal routine, impacting upon schooling, friendships, family relationships, and at times, their health and safety.


Here at InnerTwist Clinical Psychology, Fiona offers a treatment called Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT) which is an internationally recognised, evidence-based treatment, for helping children and adolescents with grief and trauma.


TF-CBT is made up of both parent-only, child-only and joint parent-child sessions. A block of TF-CBT is usually 12-18 sessions, though this may be shorter or longer depending upon the young person’s difficulties. All treatments are individualised to match the needs of the child and family, as the impact of loss or trauma is felt, not only by the child, but by the whole family unit. Below we talk a little about TF-CBT for both grief and trauma.


What happens in TF-CBT for those who are struggling with the death of a loved one?

  1. Education about grief and the grieving process is provided to both the child and their parents
  2. Parenting skills are provided to help parents support their child throughout this process
  3. We talk and give strategies on how to grieve the loss
  4. Resolve any negative feelings about the deceased and the child’s relationship with them
  5. Preserve positive memories
  6. Look to focusing on the present and future

What happens in TF-CBT for those who have experienced trauma?

  1. Education about trauma and our responses to it is provided to both the child and their parents
  2. Parenting skills are provided to help parents understand how to support their child whilst being able to set limits on negative behaviours
  3. Relaxation skills are taught
  4. The child and parents learn how to express their emotions about what happened and how to then regulate these emotions
  5. Coping techniques are given
  6. Techniques for processing the trauma are discussed and taught in session
  7. Strategies and skills to enhance future safety and child development are taught.

At InnerTwist, we use lots of different techniques such as reading child appropriate books about grief and trauma, playing games and drawing to help a child talk about their struggles and provide them with the tools to learn new skills.

If you would like to have a chat to us about the difficulties your child or family is struggling with, call us on (07) 3371 5558 or send us an email at info@innertwist.com.au