PTSD: Cognitive Therapy for Children & Young People

PTSD is a common problem among young people in the UK.  By the end of adolescence, around 75% of youth will have experienced at least one potentially traumatic event; and around 15% of them will develop persistent PTSD.  Untreated, PTSD may run a chronic course for many years, and is associated with reduced quality of life, impaired social and academic functioning, poor physical health, increased suicidal behavior, and significant comorbidity.  Evidence from independent research groups worldwide shows that PTSD is a very treatable condition:  Trauma-Focused CBT is a highly effective treatment, and is recommended as the treatment of choice for children and young people with PTSD.

In this workshop, participants will be able to update their skills in:

• how to carry out trauma-focused assessment and formulation with young people and families

• how to plan and deliver individually tailored Trauma-Focused CBT with children and families

In this practical skills-based workshop, evidence regarding children’s appraisals and coping, the nature of their trauma memories, and family functioning in the aftermath of trauma will be reviewed.  The workshop will then cover, in detail:  how to carry out trauma-focused assessment and derive an idiosyncratic cognitive formulation; and how to implement key treatment components of TF-CBT with young people, including imaginal reliving, updating traumatic memories, working with triggers, and working with families.  The emphasis will be on individual, formulation-driven TF-CBT.  Adaptions needed for children exposed to multiple and repeated traumas will be discussed.  Protocols for working with very young preschool children will also be demonstrated.


Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith read Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, and completed his clinical training and PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College  London.  He  is  currently a  senior lecturer in  clinical  psychology  at  the Institute of Psychiatry, and Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the  Maudsley  Hospital,  London.  He  works  in  a  long-established  Child Traumatic Stress Clinic, and is co-founder of a specialist Mood Disorder Clinic  for  young  people.  On  completing  his clinical  training,  he  led a UNICEF-funded  psychosocial  programme  for  war-affected  children in Bosnia. His collaborative research since then has focused on understanding children’s psychological reactions to trauma, and on developing interventions for traumatised young people. With colleagues, he has investigated cognitive models of PTSD in children; he has helped to develop and evaluate group interventions for children exposed to war and  disasters;  and  he  led  a  Randomised  Controlled  Trial  of  individual Trauma-Focused Cognitive Therapy for  children  and  young  people. He has published widely, and regularly teaches and trains other professionals.

Additional Information

Cancellation & changes policy

If you cancel more than 14 days prior to your booked event, we will refund your fee minus a charge of 15% to cover our administration costs. We regret that cancellations 14 days or less before the booked event cannot be refunded or changed/transferred.

If you wish to change/transfer your booking after confirmation we will do our best to accommodate you if you notify us 14 days prior to your booked event, and if there is space to do so. However there will be an administration charge of £15 per change/transfer.


Workshops often contain clinical material. This is always anonymised as far as possible but delegates are none the less reminded to respect confidentiality.

All that is discussed in your therapy sessions will be treated as confidential, with the following exceptions.
We are required to seek supervision by our professional body (The British Psychological Society or equivalent) as a means of ensuring good practice. We will usually inform your referrer of your progress, but the details that we disclose will be discussed with you. We do have a statutory obligation to break confidentiality under rare circumstances, namely, if we believe that a client is of danger to themselves or to others (under the Mental Health Act, 2001) or if we believe that a child is at actual risk of physical or sexual abuse (The Children Act, Section 47, 1989).

If we felt that it would be helpful to request additional medical, social or legal information, we could only do this with your consent. Similarly, should another medical, social or legal professional request information from us, we would not release this without your consent.


OCTC makes every effort to ensure that this programme is delivered as advertised. However, should a presenter have to cancel, we will endeavour to find another suitable presenter. We will inform attendees as soon as is reasonably practical and, if requested, will offer a refund. In the rare event that we are unable to substitute a presenter, we may cancel a workshop and refund payments already made by attendees. OCTC will not refund travel and accommodation costs that attendees may incur.
All the workshops in this programme are carried out by highly experienced therapists and trainers. The individual presenter is responsible for the content of the workshop and any views expressed do not necessarily represent those of OCTC.
Although highly informative, none of the open workshops or workshop series confer a formal qualification or assurance of competence in CBT (or a specialist area of CBT) since we are unable to assess attendee competency within the training event. However, credit and award-bearing courses that lead to formal qualifications are offered by OCTC in conjunction with the University of Oxford. More about these courses is available on our website

Levels of competence

Before booking a place on a workshop, please ensure that it is pitched at the appropriate level of competence for you. The guide to levels is as follows:


Basic workshops are for people from a variety of backgrounds, who have at least one year’s clinical experience. Cognitive behavioural knowledge is not necessary for attendance at these workshops, though in practice, a number of attendees will have some skills in the area, and are refreshing/updating their knowledge.


Intermediate workshops are directed towards people who already have knowledge of CBT, and experience in using cognitive formulations and treatment methods – for instance, they are able to identify and test automatic thoughts, and design behavioural experiments. Most participants will be using CBT as part of their clinical practice, and may still be acquiring new CBT skills.


Advanced courses are directed towards those professionals who use CBT routinely as part of their clinical practice. They have probably undertaken a significant number of training courses and/or workshops, and use a broad range of cognitive behavioural strategies to work with a range of presentations at varying levels of complexity.

Making reservations

Bookings can only be considered confirmed after we have received your online registration or application form and payment (or invoicing details, including an official purchase order document). Please note that registration to workshops closes 7 days prior to the event date.

If you are booking a workshop place for someone else, you must complete your own details in the billing field, but ENTER THE WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS NAME/ADDRESS in the shipping field. If you wish to order items using a paper order form instead of online, you can view or download an order form in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Once downloaded, print it out, fill it in, and send off with your payment [cheque made payable to OXFORD HEALTH NHS FOUNDATION TRUST] to the address on the form.


The cost of the workshops includes hot drinks on arrival, mid-morning and mid-afternoon, but not usually lunch unless stated. However, for workshops that do include lunch, if you have any special dietary requirements please let us know at the time of application.

Special needs

We welcome applications from diverse backgrounds. If you have any particular needs, please contact us
prior to booking.