CBITS Has Been Updated!

We are pleased to present the second edition of the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) manual, now updated based on two decades of use in the field.

Exposure to traumatic events among youth is relatively common. Almost all youth experience initial distress as a reaction to traumatic events. For most, natural resilience causes the distress to gradually subside. However, a substantial minority continue to experience distress in the months after trauma exposure.

The CBITS program is designed for use with groups of students who have experienced significant traumatic experiences and are suffering from related emotional or behavioral problems, particularly symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Delivered by school-based clinicians and taking into account cultural context, it uses a variety of proven cognitive-behavioral techniques in an early intervention approach, including psychoeducation about trauma and its consequences, relaxation training, learning to monitor stress or anxiety levels, recognizing maladaptive thinking, challenging unhelpful thoughts, social problem-solving, creating a trauma narrative and processing the traumatic event, and facing trauma-related anxieties rather than avoiding them.

CBITS focuses on three goals: decreasing current symptoms related to trauma exposure, building skills for handling stress and anxiety, and building peer and caregiver support.

Explore the Updated Manual

What's New in the Second Edition?

Based on more than 20 years of experience in implementing CBITS nationally and internationally, we have added information to better support implementation.

In addition, you'll find:

  • Updated Introduction and Background sections with implementation guidance
  • Refreshed and updated examples for explaining concepts to students
  • Reorganized and streamlined sections of the manual
  • Implementation tips are offered throughout the manual

What Hasn’t Changed in the Second Edition?

All of the same key cognitive-behavioral concepts are contained in the second edition, and most of the sessions have the same agenda and activities.

If I Have the 2003 Manual, Do I Need to Get the 2018 Manual? Do I Need New Training?

No, you can still use the 2003 manual. You might want to download the second edition to look at the Introduction and Background section, as well as the implementation tips, but your 2003 manual is still fine to use. You may find that you want to gradually shift over to the second edition because it offers more guidance on implementation, and the layout and examples are more modern and user-friendly.

You do not need new training if you were trained on the 2003 manual. In some ways, the second edition catches the manual up to the trainings that we have been delivering on-line and in-person in recent years. It puts into writing many of the things you learned in training.

How Much Does the Manual Cost?

The manual is available as a free download (PDF):

You can also purchase a hard copy for $34.00 plus shipping and taxes.