CBITS Training
Dr. Gregory Washington lecturing at the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools training at the University of Memphis in November 2018.


Members of the Center for the Advancement of Youth Development are trained to use Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS). A school-based group and individual intervention, CBITS was developed in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District to treat youth, ages 11-15 who have experienced trauma and who have significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression. It is estimated that, in inner city schools, about 20 percent of students would benefit from CBITS.

The intervention is defined especially for youths with moderate levels of symptoms with or without diagnosable PTSD. Those with severe PTSD can benefit from CBITS but possibly need individual therapy to support procedures and increase the amount of work necessary.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a structured, symptom-focused therapy that includes a wide variety of skill-building techniques. The goal of CBT is to make maladaptive thoughts and behaviors more functional. 

Characteristics of this therapy:

  • Structured sessions
  • Collaboration between patient and therapist
  • Emphasis on practice of new techniques during sessions and between sessions
  • Short term interventions