Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Jessica Brown


complicated grief, children, traumatic death


Loss happens within an instant, while grief is lifelong. Children who experience the loss of a close relationship in a traumatic way can negatively affect their mental and physical health, and academic and behavioral functioning, and have a higher mortality rate (Burns et al., 2020; Feigelman et al., 2017). Mental health professionals need to continue to advocate for children who have experienced traumatic loss with an increase in mental health services available to them. Literature is reviewed on grief, complicated grief (CG), traumatic grief, childhood traumatic grief and traumatic death are defined, types of loss, how grief is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Disorders (DSM) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD), limitations of DSM and ICD diagnosis for grief, children’s conceptualization and reactions to death and grief, the long term impacts CG can have on children without intervention and effective treatments for CG. It is vital to provide resources to children who have experienced traumatic loss as the number of traumatic deaths continues to rise each year. This manual was developed as research suggests that children appear to respond well to grief related group therapies (Deblinger et al., 2016; Registrar & Hillard 2008). With the increase of resources available to children who have and are experiencing traumatic loss and subsequent complicated grief, these children will have a better outcome both physically and mentally. This group manual was created for children aged seven to eight years old who have experienced traumatic loss and subsequent complicated grief. Children in this group will work on emotion identification and expression, understanding what death and loss mean, and develop coping skills for managing complicated grief symptoms. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral music therapy, and grief informed models were utilized in developing this manual.

Included in

Counseling Commons



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