Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 515–528 | Cite as

Treatments for Early Childhood Trauma: Decision Considerations for Clinicians

  • Karin L. VanderzeeEmail author
  • Benjamin A. Sigel
  • Joy R. Pemberton
  • Sufna G. John
Evidence based intervention


The period from birth to age six represents a time of significant risk for exposure to trauma. Following trauma exposure, children may experience significant negative and lasting psychological, cognitive, and physical effects. Over the last two decades, the demand for and availability of evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for children under the age of six who have experienced trauma has dramatically increased. Three of the most well-supported and widely disseminated EBTs for early childhood trauma are Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Increasingly, clinicians are receiving training in more than one EBT. This paper provides an overview of each intervention; presents clinicians with various child, caregiver, and environmental factors to consider when deciding amongst these three EBTs; and applies these considerations to three composite cases.


Early childhood trauma Intervention Toddlers Preschoolers 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Research InstituteUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Research InstituteUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA

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