Forget Trauma-Focussed Interventions, Deliver Restorative CBT

Restorative CBT(RCBT) focuses on getting the trauma victim back to their old selves, as far as possible. It does not require the client to relive the trauma. The difference between RCBT and trauma focussed CBT (TFCBT) is stark when it comes to considering long-term psychological help for those affected by the war in Ukraine. A theme throughout the book is helping trauma victims forgo the ‘war zone glasses’ through which  they may view their current environment. The RCBT approach is likely to be more acceptable and easier to disseminate. The specifics are in my book ‘Personalising Trauma Treatment: Reframing and Reimagining’ published by Routledge, March 2022. The accompanying commentary and slides give a taster see also Youtube . Do get back to me if you would like to discuss cases. 


In this book, clients are taught to rediscover their sense of self by reframing the trauma. Within this new framework the focus is on the client’s mental time travel from the trauma to today and reimagining their future. The therapeutic targets are the thoughts and images (cognitions) that interfere with day-to-day functioning. It does not assume that arrested information processing lies at the heart of the development of PTSD, with a consequent need for the client to re-live the trauma. For those clients who were abused in childhood, their experiences are viewed through a particular central window, but other ‘windows’ may make for more appropriate engagement with their personal world and a reimagining of their view of themselves. Treatment delivery options from telephone consultation, group work and videoconferencing are discussed. With illustrative examples, the author highlights the pathway to recovery for a wide range of clients with the comorbidity often found in real-world settings.

The book will be essential reading for therapists and other mental health professionals working with trauma survivors.

Dr Mike Scott