Facing Fears and Sadness: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Traumatic Grief

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Abstract

The term childhood traumatic grief (CTG) is being increasingly used to refer to the particular reaction in children that may follow the death of a loved one during a traumatic event. The goal of this case study is to describe the theoretical argument and framework for, as well as a clinical example of, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for CTG. We present a case of a five-year-old boy whose father, a firefighter, died in the line of duty at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This specific case will highlight the steps of CBT for CTG, the value of assessment during the therapeutic process, and the need to consider developmental and family factors in treatment.

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