CBITS Trauma Groups

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) is a skills-based group intervention designed to help kids process traumatic or stressful events and memories.

If you or your child is struggling, don't worry alone.  Contact us to learn more and book a phone screen for CBITS groups!


What are Cognitive Behavioral Intervention
for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) groups?

CBITS trauma groups are a skills-based group intervention that are designed to support kids who’ve experienced difficult life events. Children learn about common traumatic events, common reactions to them, and strategies to cope. While CBITS groups are focused on treating traumatic stress, this intervention also targets related problems such as depression and anxiety.

The program consists of 10-12 weekly group sessions enhanced by 1-3 individual sessions and 2 caregiver sessions.

What is traumatic stress?

While we all do our best to protect our children, some kids and adolescents experience stressful events, like parental divorce, ongoing bullying by peers, stressful medical operations, and sometimes even events that might threaten their safety or the safety of loved ones. Following a stressful event, kids and teens might feel it’s ongoing impact in their day to day lives.

When experiencing a stressful event, our physical and emotional stress response activates to keep us safe. Traumatic stress occurs when these physical and emotional responses become so ingrained and automatic that they are activated even when there is no threat of danger.

Traumatic stress symptoms may look different for each kid. Through CBITS, we are able to support teens and families through group and individual work led by trauma experts to address the impact of traumatic stress in a collaborative and personalized approach.

Who can benefit from CBITS groups?

A child that has experienced a traumatic or stressful event that they still think about and that affects them may be a good fit for CBITS groups.

Some examples of traumatic or stressful events include:

  • Parental divorce
  • Bullying by peers
  • Stressful medical operations
  • Exposure to community violence
  • Traumatic stress related to immigrant status

If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms after a traumatic or stressful event, CBITS groups may be able to help them:

  • Learning challenges (e.g., difficulty concentrating in class, refusing to go to school, academic problems)
  • Risky behaviors (e.g., substance use, getting into fights, talking back)
  • Health problems (e.g., stomachaches, headaches)
  • Sleep difficulties (e.g., difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much)

My teen qualifies for CBITS but I’m worried about having them talk about their experiences in a group. 

Through CBITS, your child will learn how to cope with upsetting thoughts and how to strengthen skills they can use to take back control of their story and their lives. Research on CBITS groups shows that teens often feel empowered when they have the opportunity to connect with others who have experienced similar traumatic or stressful events. Support from peers in group formats has been proven to be especially helpful for teens who are hesitant to talk about difficult feelings or experiences.

Do I, as a caregiver, get to be involved?

Yes! To help your child get the most out of CBITS, our participants’ caregivers will be expected to join up to two caregiver group sessions. These groups will be held virtually and will also provide you with a community that you can go to when you need help supporting your child with difficult life events.

How can CBITS groups help my Child?


Skill Building

Your child will learn skills in relaxation, coping with upsetting thoughts, and social problem solving. These tools will act as powerful resources for your child.



One of the primary goals of CBITS is to support your child in taking back control of their story.


Community and Peer Network Building

Many of the other children participating in CBITS have also experienced traumatic or stressful events similar to your child’s. CBITS groups offer a supportive setting that normalizes their experiences and feelings while giving them a community of support