Understanding child abuse victim, caregiver and clinician Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) treatment experience

  • Audrey Kusasira-Sutton Auckland University of Technology
Keywords: TF-CBT, Youth, Child Abuse, Treatment Experience


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) global statistics, 25% of individuals have experienced physical abuse as children, 36.3% emotional abuse and 16.3% physical neglect. One in five girls had undergone sexual abuse compared to 1 in 13 boys (WHO, 2020). An overwhelming amount of research shows that children who have suffered child abuse present with symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, suicidality and aggression. Various therapeutic models have been employed to work with victims of child abuse. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) is one of the models (Cohen & Mannarino, 2008). TF-CBT’s efficacy has been tested by a number of randomised trials and evidence has supported its superiority in the treatment of child abuse. The quantitative measures, however, have limited knowledge of the therapy experience for youth, caregivers or clinicians (‘users’) (Dittmann & Jensen, 2014). This poster will outline my current study which aims to ask what users’ experience is for different aspects of TF-CBT treatment. It is built upon previous enquiries’ recommendations and based on a pragmatic framework, with a primary focus on youth experience. A typical sample of fifteen participants ages 8-17 are being approached in two steps. First, five participants who have completed TF-CBT are being consulted about appropriate information gathering methods for youth undergoing therapy. This is an effort to address the emphasised deficit in youth-focused interview methods in research. Second, that guidance will be used in subsequent information gathering sessions with ten participants after each of the four TF-CBT phases. Corresponding caregivers and clinicians will be interviewed upon treatment completion. Data will be analysed using a reflexive thematic analysis. It is the hope that, in addition to contributing to a growing body of literature attempting to fill a gap, this study might also, through insight into the user lens, possibly afford information that assists in enhancing the therapeutic practice.


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Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (2008). Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy for children and parents. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 13(4), 158-162. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-3588.2008.00502.x

Dittmann, I., & Jensen, T. K. (2014). Giving a voice to traumatized youth—Experiences with Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(7), 1221-1230. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.11.008

WHO. (2020). Child maltreatment. World Health Organisation. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs150/en/

How to Cite
Kusasira-Sutton, A. (2022). Understanding child abuse victim, caregiver and clinician Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) treatment experience. Rangahau Aranga: AUT Graduate Review, 1(3). https://doi.org/10.24135/rangahau-aranga.v1i3.125