Trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy for child sexual abuse

Judith A. Cohen, Laura K. Murray, Anthony P. Mannarino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Introduction Child sexual abuse is defined here as the use of power (emotional, physical or psychological) to engage a child or adolescent in behaviour involving touching or looking at sexual body parts that is age inappropriate, uncomfortable, or against their will. Sexual abuse is one of the most common childhood traumas: one of four females and one of six males experience sexual abuse by the age of 18 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005). Without effective treatment child sexual abuse can lead to a variety of severe and lifelong negative outcomes. Early identification and provision of effective and timely treatment to children and adolescents who experience sexual abuse are therefore of high importance to alleviate individual suffering and improve public health. This chapter describes the most studied and widely used evidence-based treatment for child sexual abuse, Trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (TF-CBT). The impact of child sexual abuse Sexual abuse is associated with serious long-term adverse outcomes. These include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, substance abuse, suicide, increased rates of multiple medical problems, relationship difficulties and future sexual assault; increased use of healthcare, and most seriously, early death (Felitti et al., 1998; Nelson et al., 2002). Identifying children who experience sexual abuse and providing early treatment are critical steps to preventing these negative outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCognitive Behaviour Therapy for Children and Families, Third Edition
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781139344456
ISBN (Print)9781107689855
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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