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The Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) program is a school-based, group and individual intervention.  It is designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems, and to improve functioning, grades and attendance, peer and parent support, and coping skills.

CBITS has been used with students from 5th grade through 12th grade who have witnessed or experienced traumatic life events such as community and school violence, accidents and injuries, physical abuse and domestic violence, and natural and man-made disasters.

CBITS uses cognitive-behavioral techniques (e.g., psychoeducation, relaxation, social problem solving, cognitive restructuring, and exposure).

The goals of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) are:

  • Reduce symptoms related to trauma exposure
  • Build skills and enhance resilience to stress
  • Build peer and caregiver support

The essential components of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) include:

  • Techniques based on cognitive and behavioral theories of adjustment to traumatic events delivered in an individual or group (with 6-10 participants) format:
    • Psycho-education
    • Relaxation
    • Social problem solving
    • Cognitive restructuring
    • Imaginal exposure
    • Exposure to trauma reminders
    • Development of a trauma narrative

How is CBITS implemented?

CBITS is designed for delivery by mental health professionals in a school setting. The program consists of:

  • 10 group sessions
  • 1-3 individual sessions
  • 2 parent psychoeducational sessions
  • 1 teacher educational session

Is CBITS evidence-based?

Yes. Extensive research since 2000 has shown that students who participate in the program have significantly fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression, and psychosocial dysfunction.