Document Type


Publication Date



Stepped care, Parent-led therapy, Children, Posttraumatic stress, Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Delivery systems other than in-office therapist-led treatments are needed to address treatment barriers such as accessibility, efficiency, costs, and parents wanting an active role in helping their child. To address these barriers, stepped care trauma focused-cognitive behavioral therapy (SC-TF-CBT) was developed as a parent-led, therapist-assisted therapy that occurs primarily at-home so that fewer in-office sessions are required. The current study examines caregivers’ perceptions of parent-led (SC-TF-CBT) and therapist-led (TF-CBT) treatment. Participants consisted of 52 parents/caregivers (25–68 years) of young trauma-exposed children (3–7 years) who were randomly assigned to SC-TF-CBT (n = 34) or to TF-CBT (n = 18). Data were collected at mid- and post-treatment via interviews inquiring about what participants liked, disliked, found most helpful, and found least helpful about the treatment. Results indicated that parents/caregivers favored relaxation skills, affect modulation and expression skills, the trauma narrative, and parenting skills across both conditions. The majority of parents/caregivers in SC-TF-CBT favored the at-home parent–child meetings and the workbook that guides the parent-led treatment, and there were suggestions for improving the workbook. Reported disliked and least helpful aspects of treatments were minimal across conditions, but themes that emerged that will need further exploration included the content and structure, and implementation difficulties for both conditions. Collectively, these results highlight the positive impact that a parent-led, therapist-assisted treatment could have in terms of providing caregivers with more tools to help their child after trauma and reduce barriers to treatment.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Child and Family Studies, v. 25, issue 1, p. 262-274

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Child and Family Studies. The final authenticated version is available online at:

Included in

Social Work Commons