Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Traumatic Separation


# of CE's: 5.0


In the context of the current familial separation crisis at the US Southern border, there has been growing attention to Childhood Traumatic Separation, defined as a child developing a significant traumatic stress reaction in response to a familial separation that the child experienced as traumatic. Childhood Traumatic Separation typically occurs when children have experienced familial separation in sudden, frightening, chaotic circumstances, such as those related to war, refugee, immigration, deportation, parental incarceration, and/or child maltreatment. When the child is living in kinship or foster care, Childhood Traumatic Separation may interfere with the child's relationships with the current caregiver(s). Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for children with traumatic stress reactions from diverse index traumas. This advanced training will describe clinical applications of TF-CBT for Childhood Traumatic Separation, including 1) similarities and differences between Childhood Traumatic Grief and Childhood Traumatic Separation; 2) developmental and cultural factors that impact on the manifestation of Childhood Traumatic Separation; 3) common clinical issues in Childhood Traumatic Separation; 4) reasons and strategies for implementing the Enhancing Safety component first for this population; 5) how to tailor the TF-CBT PRAC skills to address the uncertainty of Childhood Traumatic Separation; 6) integrating related past traumas into trauma narration and processing about the traumatic familial separation; and 7) implementing TF-CBT Traumatic Separation-focused components to address challenges of committing to new relationships while retaining connections to the separated parent.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define Childhood Traumatic Separation (CTS) and 2 ways that cultural or developmental factors may influence its manifestation.
  • Describe 2 strategies for implementing the TF-CBC Enhancing Safety component for Childhood Traumatic Separation.
  • Describe 3 ways that the TF-CBT PRAC skills are tailored to address the uncertainty of CTS.
  • Describe 1 strategy for integrating past traumas into trauma narration and processing for Childhood Traumatic Separation.
  • Describe 1 strategy for implementing each of the 5 TF-CBT traumatic separation-focused components.

Intended Audience:

PACTS trained clinicians

Instructional Level:


Completion Requirements:

Participants must attend entire presentation and submit an evaluation to receive credits.