Objective: Childhood trauma impacts multiple domains of functioning including behavior. Traumatized children commonly have behavioral problems that therapists must effectively evaluate and manage in the context of providing trauma-focused treatment. This manuscript describes practical strategies for managing behavior problems in the context of trauma-focused evidence-based treatment (EBT) using a commonly implemented EBT for traumatized children.
Methods: The empirical literature is reviewed and practical strategies are described for conducting trauma- and behavioral-focused assessments; engaging families in trauma- and behavioral-focused treatment; treatment-planning that includes a balance of both trauma and behavioral foci; managing ongoing behavioral problems in the context of providing trauma-focused treatment; managing behavioral crises ("crises of the week"); addressing overwhelming family or social problems; and steps for knowledge transfer.
Results: Trauma-focused EBT that integrate behavioral management strategies can effectively manage the behavioral regulation problems that commonly occur in traumatized children.
Conclusions: Addressing trauma-related behavioral problems is an important part of trauma-focused treatment and is feasible to do in the context of using common trauma-focused EBT.
Practice implications: Integrating effective behavioral interventions into trauma-focused EBT is essential due to the common nature of behavioral regulation difficulties in traumatized children.
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