Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents (TGCTA)

What is Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents (TGCTA)?

TGCTA is an assessment-driven, modularized therapeutic intervention designed to address the complex needs of older children and adolescents contending with trauma, bereavement, and/or traumatic bereavement. TGCTA’s modular design allows practitioners to tailor and customize their intervention based on the age, cultural background, and needs of individual youth, the treatment setting, and the time available. TGCTA uniquely combines state-of-the-art guiding theory, assessment tools, and treatment components that address the consequences of trauma and bereavement, including the newly-introducedprolonged grief disorder in DSM-5-TR. TGCTA flexibly uses a diverse set of practice elements to reduce distress, risky behavior, improve functioning, and promote adaptive developmental progression.

Primary therapeutic objectives of TGCTA include:

  • strengthen the therapeutic alliance/build group cohesion
  • improve emotional and behavioral self-regulation (using psychoeducation, cognitive restructuring, coping skills training, etc.)
  • increase a realistic sense of control over their lives, including things they can do to increase their sense of safety
  • process traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress reactions
  • process bereavement/loss-related experiences and grief reactions
  • address risky behavior
  • address developmental disruption
  • build a realistic sense of hope about their lives and future (e.g., developing positive future ambitions and aspirations)
  • engage in prosocial and proactive behavior, including taking steps towards achieving future ambitions and aspirations

TGCTA has been widely implemented and evaluated in a wide range of national and international settings. The TGCTA manual and support materials offer session-by-session guidance for implementing TGCTA components in either a group or an individual setting. Both training in the TGCTA model, and certification as a TGCTA provider upon satisfactory completion of the requirements, are readily available.



Get the TGCTA Manual

The TGCTA manual and support materials offer session-by-session guidance for implementing TGCTA in either a group or an individual setting. A practical guide for addressing the needs of adolescents facing trauma, bereavement, and accompanying developmental disruption. This innovative guide offers teen-friendly coping skills, handouts, and specialized therapeutic exercises to reduce distress and promote adaptive developmental progression. Sessions can be flexibly tailored for group or individual treatment modalities; school-based, community mental health, juvenile justice, or private practice settings; and different timeframes and specific client needs. Drawing on multidimensional grief theory, TGCTA offers a valuable toolkit for social workers, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and others who work with bereaved and traumatized adolescents. Extensive field-testing, engaging activities, and illustrations featuring a broad range of youth from differing age, racial, and cultural backgrounds give this user-friendly manual broad international appeal.

Get the Participant Workbook

Once you buy the manual you can order a copy of the TGCTA Participant Workbook. Clients participating in the program should each have a Participant Workbook that includes all of the handouts and worksheets.

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William R. Saltzman, Ph.D.

William R. Saltzman, Ph.D.

Co Founder

Dr. Saltzman is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at California State University, Long Beach where he directs the MFT graduate program. For the past twenty-five years Dr. Saltzman has worked nationally and internationally developing and implementing treatment programs for children, couples and families contending with serious and chronic illness, traumatic death, foster placement and family reunification, community violence, war, disaster, and military deployment and associated injuries. As lead author of two nationally-disseminated evidence-based programs (the FOCUS Family Resilience Enhancement Program and Trauma – Grief Component Therapy – TGCT), he has trained and supervised thousands of mental health providers in the community, medical, juvenile justice, and military systems of care, and published over fifty articles.

Christopher M. Layne, Ph.D.

Christopher M. Layne, Ph.D.

Co Founder

A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Christopher Layne is Associate Professor of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University, where he directs the Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress Program, a psychology training clinic that specializes in the assessment and treatment of traumatized and bereaved youth. Previously, he served as Program Director of Education in Evidence-Based Practice at the UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress for 15 years, where he led the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma iniative. Dr. Layne is also Principal Investigator of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Category II National Child Trauma Workforce Institute. The Institute’s mission is to disseminate nationally the Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma, with special emphasis to adapting and disseminating the Curriculum in child psychiatry and (in partnership with Division 56 of the American Psychological Association)—trauma psychology. He is also a Research Psychologist at the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience at UC Colorado Springs. Dr. Layne and his colleagues worked closely with the American Psychiatric Association to create developmentally-informed criteria for Prolonged Grief Disorder in DSM-5-TR (2022). He has co-authored the manualized interventions Psychological First Aid-2ndedition (2006); FOCUS for Military Families (2009); Skills for Psychological Recovery (2010); Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents (2017), and Multidimensional Grief Therapy (in press, 2022). Dr. Layne is lead developer of multidimensional grief theory, the Prolonged Grief Disorder Checklist, and other assessment measures. With funding from such agencies as the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA), UNICEF, New York Life Foundation, the Kennedy International Studies Center, and the New York State Office of Mental Health, Dr. Layne has disseminated manualized interventions on a national and international scale. His professional interests include traumatic stress and PTSD; bereavement and grief; professional education and training; developmental psychopathology; evidence-based practice; evidence-based assessment; research methods; and trauma- and bereavement-focused intervention.

Julie Kaplow, PhD, ABPP

Julie Kaplow, PhD, ABPP

Julie Kaplow, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed clinical psychologist, board certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. She serves as Executive Vice President of Trauma and Grief Programs and Policy at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and Executive Director of the Trauma and Grief (TAG) Center at The Hackett Center for Mental Health in Houston. Dr. Kaplow is also Executive Director of the TAG Center at Children’s Hospital New Orleans and Professor of Psychiatry at Tulane University School of Medicine. In these roles, she oversees the development and evaluation of treatments for traumatized and bereaved youth and disseminates trauma- and bereavement-informed “best practices” to community providers nationwide. Following tragedies such as Hurricane Harvey and the Santa Fe school shooting, Dr. Kaplow and her team provided evidence-based risk screening and interventions to impacted children and families. More recently, they have been helping to coordinate the mental health response in Uvalde, Texas following the Robb Elementary School shooting.

Dr. Kaplow has published widely on the topics of childhood trauma and grief, with over 85 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and has served as Principal Investigator on numerous grant-funded programs focused on enhancing resilience in youth exposed to adversity. She is lead author of Multidimensional Grief Therapy, co-author of Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents, and co-author of Trauma Systems Therapy. Dr. Kaplow has served as a consultant to the DSM-5 Sub-Work Group on Prolonged Grief Disorder, the ICD-11 Work Group on Disorders Associated with Stress, the National Academy of Medicine (Scientific Advisory Council on Child Death), and the Mass Violence and Children Working Group of the FBI.

Prior to joining the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Dr. Kaplow served as Chief of Psychology and Vice Chair for Behavioral Health at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Duke University. She completed her internship at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School followed by postdoctoral training at the Center for Medical and Refugee Trauma at Boston Medical Center.


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