The Value of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) in Addressing the Therapeutic Needs of Trafficked Youth: A Case Study

Yahaira I. Márquez, Esther Deblinger, Allison T. Dovi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is currently the leading intervention for childhood trauma as it has accumulated the most empirical support in treating sexual abuse in youth. However, this treatment, widely recognized as the gold-standard for the treatment of childhood trauma, has been applied only in recent years to address the unique needs of children and adolescents with histories of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. This paper strives to expand this limited literature base by examining the clinical value in individualizing TF-CBT to effectively treat an adolescent experiencing posttraumatic stress related to the experience of familial sex trafficking while also maintaining treatment fidelity. This case study emphasizes the value of the TF-CBT components in addressing a variety of factors that impact this population, including psychological coercion, psychological manipulation, the threat of legal action (in this case deportation), lack of community involvement, running away behaviors, and pregnancy by sexual assault. Multisource measures completed at the beginning and end of treatment document a significant decrease in symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and a depressive disorder after 20 treatment sessions that comprised individual sessions for the youth, individual sessions for the nonoffending caregiver, and conjoint caregiver-youth sessions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-269
Number of pages17
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Practice
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

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