Psychotherapeutic interventions for childhood posttraumatic stress disorder: An update

Jaco Rossouw, Tamsin Sharp, Sarah Halligan, Soraya Seedat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)
101 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose of the review. We review treatment outcome studies and systematic reviews for childhood and adolescent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) between January 2020 and August 2022, including studies involving younger children and different treatment delivery methods and models. We address predictors, moderators, treatment engagement, and attrition.

Recent findings. Recent randomised controlled trials corroborate earlier trials documenting trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (TF-CBT) as a highly efficacious treatment for PTSD. Evidence for treatment effects in complex PTSD in youth is still sparse. Research on moderators and predictors of treatment continues to be hampered by multiple factors, including a lack of sufficiently large homogeneous trauma samples.

Summary. TF-CBT is a very effective treatment for children and adolescents with PTSD. Further work is needed to (i) demonstrate that task-shifting models utilising lay community health counsellors and peer counsellors can effectively and cost-effectively close the mental health treatment gap that exists world-wide in children and adolescents diagnosed with PTSD, but particularly within low- and middle income countries, and (ii) better understand moderators and predictors of treatment which remains a priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-424
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


  • children and adolescents
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • psychotherapeutic treatment
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Psychotherapeutic interventions for childhood posttraumatic stress disorder: An update'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this