Date of Graduation

Summer 8-31-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Dr. Michelle Montagno

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa De La Rue

Third Advisor

Dr. Malik Henfield


Literature exploring clinicians' perspectives on the effectiveness of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy with African American children who suffer from trauma-related disorders is very limited. The current study examined clinicians' perspectives on the TF-CBT model when utilized with this population, including their experiences working with African American children and families with observable types of trauma-related disorders. This research study also explored the various facets of trauma that African Americans encounter in childhood and the barriers that prevent them from receiving adequate mental health care. Thematic analysis was utilized to explore themes that emerged when treating African American children with TF-CBT. Five major themes surfaced from the data: experiences working with African American children and families; effective components of TF-CBT; hindrances to treatment unrelated to TF-CBT; addressing cultural mismatch; and tailoring the model to address client needs. The findings reveal what clinicians find to be effective in the current state of the TF-CBT model, such as the structure and method to address trauma-related symptoms, as well as ways they alter the treatment to best service their clients' needs. Participants also described the challenges they face when treating this population and the barriers they attempt to overcome that TF-CBT itself is not designed to address. In addition, the incorporation of the family system in treatment showed the importance of community and cultural understanding to promote healing for African Americans. The overall outcome of this study found that TF-CBT, without culturally responsive adaptations, is not effective on its own for treating African American children.