Complicated grief therapy as a new treatment approach
- Julie Loebach Wetherell
- Dialogues in clinical neuroscience
Traumatic grief is a common and debilitating syndrome whose clinical presentation is well recognized but whose diagnostic criteria have only recently been delineated. Though it shares features with major depressive disorder, adjustment disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder, none of these subsume the criteria set for traumatic grief, and the diagnostic overlap is limited in community samples. Furthermore, diagnosis of traumatic grief appears to have prognostic value for clinical course and treatment response among bereaved individuals. In the absence of empirically supported treatments of pathological grief, a new, manualized treatment for traumatic grief symptoms has been developed and is currently undergoing testing in a randomized controlled trial. The conceptual basis for Traumatic Grief Treatment (TGT) is presented, the structure of the treatment is outlined, and the primary clinical strategies employed are described.