Updated 23.04.2024

CFTSI treatment model

CFTSI (Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention) is a short 4–8 session model suitable for children aged 7–18 who have experienced different types of traumatic experiences in the previous 1–1.5 months or reported violent trauma for the first time.

The aim of the method is, among other things, to assess the child’s post-traumatic stress symptoms and reactions using validated methods, to reduce and prevent them through psychoeducation, learning stress management and coping methods, and increasing parent-child communication. In addition, the method supports the parent in parenting and understanding the child’s trauma symptoms. An important part of the method is also the assessment of the child’s and family’s need for further care and service guidance.

The method includes an assessment of the child’s and family’s need for further care and service guidance. The method is suitable for children aged 7 to 18 years. The adult participating in the treatment may also be a foster parent, but the child must have lived with the adult for at least six months before the treatment.

The treatment consists of 4–8 sessions, during which the same therapist meets the child and parent both together and separately. At the beginning of treatment, the parent and child fill in questionnaires through which the symptoms of both the child and the parent are mapped. At the beginning of treatment, the child and parent also receive a lot of psychoeducation about the impact of trauma on the child. Starting treatment does not require a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is sufficient that the child has trauma-related stress symptoms. The focus of treatment is not on the trauma event itself, nor is it processed during treatment. Treatment focuses on supporting the child in coping with his/her symptoms and helping the parent to support the child.

Treatment begins with an extensive assessment of the child’s symptoms. After the child and parent have completed the symptom questionnaires, the therapist goes through them together with the child and parent. Based on the symptom questionnaires, the goal of treatment is the symptom that most disturbs the child’s everyday life and functional capacity, and together we start looking for ways to alleviate the child’s symptoms. The child and parents receive homework and exercises that they do together between meetings. In the following sessions, the severity of the symptoms is assessed, and if the symptom focused on treatment has eased, another symptom can be examined. At the end of the treatment model, an extensive symptom survey is carried out again and the effectiveness of the treatment is assessed. Most children, adolescents and families do not need follow-up treatment, but if necessary, the child and adolescent can be referred for further treatment, for example, to a TF-KKT therapist.

Applicants must have a master’s degree in health care and previous experience of working with children and young people who have experienced traumatic experiences. Compared to other treatment models, this is a so-called treatment model. crisis intervention, from which TF-CBT or LKK/CPC-CBT treatments can be continued if necessary.


The Barnahus project and the Promise 3 project have trained experts in therapy models in Finland.

Contact persons for CFTSI training: Sini Vehkaoja (etunimi.sukunimi@hus.fi) and Johanna Pirinen (etunimi.sukunimi@varha.fi).