Apr. 6th 2019 Advice / information

Strengths of cognitive behavioural therapy

The main strength of trauma-centred cognitive behavioural therapy is the number of empirical supports regarding its effectiveness in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (Bisson et al. 2013 ; Foa et al. 2009). In particular, the exposure strategy has shown that it allows considerable progress to be made in reducing post-traumatic symptoms (Brillon, 2013). A study by Richards and colleagues (1994) concluded that exposure strategies produce an improvement of between 75 and 80% in post-traumatic symptoms. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy also benefits from a standardized protocol and well-defined therapeutic strategies that, while tailored to the characteristics of each client, provide guidelines for the therapist. This standardization of the intervention guarantees reproducibility of the effectiveness from one therapist to another, to the extent that they have been received prior training.

Another strength of cognitive behavioural therapy focused on trauma is the speed of treatment. Eight to twenty sessions are usually sufficient to go through the therapeutic strategies mentioned above (Taylor, 2017). Psychotherapy with a limited and time-limited number of sessions is a significant financial benefit for many clients who cannot afford psychotherapy on a prolonged basis. This treatment is therefore more easily accepted by insurers who only cover a limited number of sessions per year.

Finally, cognitive behavioural therapy focused on trauma has been studied and validated in a wide variety of populations. It can be adapted to the type of event experienced, the client’s age and the context of exposure (Bisson et al., 2007 ; Deblinger, Mannarino, Cohen, Runyon et Steer, 2011). It is also recognized as being as effective in face-to-face as in teletherapy (Marchand, Beaulieu-Prévost, Guay, Bouchard, Drouin & Germain, 2011).

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