Skip to main content

Helping children overcome trauma

Date created
Author: Schwartz, C.
Author: Waddell, C.
Author: Barican, J.
Author: Garland, O.
Background: After being exposed to trauma, some children will develop emotional and behavioural symptoms. Consequently, we set out to identify which interventions can support children to recovery from these experiences and their sequalae. Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify interventions aimed at addressing childhood trauma. Applying our inclusion criteria, we accepted one systematic review that reviewed 21 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Results: Among the 21 RCTs, 12 evaluated cognitive-behavioural interventions (CBT). Ten CBT interventions resulted in statistically significant improvements for children, including reduced depressive, behavioural and posttraumatic stress symptoms. As well, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing also reduced posttraumatic stress symptoms according to two RCTs. Overall, however, CBT produced a larger effect size than all other interventions. Conclusions: CBT is the most effective psychotherapy for traumatized children. By providing CBT to children in need, recovery from trauma is both possible and probable.
Published as
Schwartz, C., Waddell, C., Barican, J., Garland, O., Gray-Grant, D., & Nightingale, L. (2011). Helping children overcome trauma. Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly, 5(3), 1–16. Vancouver, BC: Children’s Health Policy Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions: You must give attribution to the work (but not in any way that suggests that the author endorses you or your use of the work); You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Download file Size
RQ-3-11-Summer.pdf 790.22 KB

Views & downloads - as of June 2023

Views: 110
Downloads: 5