Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy on Children and Adolescents with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder By Sean
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that plagues thousands of children and adolescents all around the world. It is a problem that can have any number of causes and is a very serious issue that people with the disorder have to deal with on a daily basis. Because of its wide prevalence throughout the world it has been a disorder that has been analysed and researched my times over, especially when it comes to treatment. Many different treatment methods have been tried and it often takes treatments over long periods of time to have any lasting affect and even then because of the nature of the disorder relapses may occur. One such treatment for this disorder is Cognitive behavioural therapy which has been known to have positive effects on clients with (PTSD).
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be defined as the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to an extreme traumatic event (Gillies, Taylor, Gray, O'Brien, & D'Abrew, 2013). When a person encounters an extreme traumatic event that impacts the person in a physical or psychological manner that person has a chance of becoming traumatized by that event. Characteristic symptoms can develop following exposure to an extreme traumatic event, when these symptoms are developed in a person is when the person has PTSD. It is the development of symptoms following exposure to an extreme traumatic event. There are many symptoms of PTSD that may be present in a client these include re-experiencing the trauma, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal (Gillies, Taylor, Gray, O'Brien, & D'Abrew, 2013). Re-experiencing the trauma is when a person relives the traumatic event in a mental or physical way which leads to the avoidance of any stimuli associated with the trauma. Vincent, Jenkins, Clohessy, and Larkin suggest that PTSD persists when past trauma is processed by a person in a way that leads to a sense of serious current threat. The criteria for the diagnosis of PTSD under the Fourth Edition Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders text revision (DSM-IV-TR) is that the symptoms of PTSD must be present for at least a month and cause clinically significant distress or substantial impairment in areas of important functioning. Untreated PTSD can run a chronic course, coupled with co-morbid conditions with additional impairments such as depression and substance-related disorders (Pityaratstian, et al., 2014). There are many different causes of PTSD, some of these traumatic events are natural disasters, manmade disasters, war, physical or sexual abuse, violence to self or others, exposure to suicidal acts, serious injury and life threatening illnesses (Gillies, Taylor, Gray, O'Brien, & D'Abrew, 2013). The prevalence of PTSD in children and adolescents who have experienced trauma varies greatly from 2% to 100% with an average estimate of around 30 to 40% (Gillies, Taylor, Gray, O'Brien, & D'Abrew, 2013).
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a popular method of therapy used for a large variety of different disorder and problems. It is a popular method for its strong emphasis on measurable change in cognitions and behaviours as well as measurable goal attainment strategies (Thompson & Henderson, 2007). It is widely used because of its evidenced based practice and its measurable efficiency meaning that it is easier to tell how effective the treatment is being making it more cost effective. The aim of CBT is identifying and modifying irrational beliefs or maladaptive thoughts through modifying cognition, assumptions, beliefs and behaviours. It is based around the idea that a person’s unique interpretation of things is what makes a person feel and act the way they do. The ABC’s of irrational beliefs explain this with three parts, the activating...
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