CGT includes 7 core modules:
- Lay of the land: providing information about love, loss, grief and adaptation to loss and explaining treatment principles and procedures
- Self-regulation: Encouraging self-monitoring, self-compassion, self-observation and reflection, emotion regulation strategies
- Aspirational goals: Helping people identify long term aspirations that are feasible and have a good chance of satisfying outcomes
- Building connection: Helping people rebuild close rewarding relationships that can provide a safe haven and secure base
- Revisiting the story of the death: Providing an opportunity to safely share and reflect upon the experience of learning about their loved one’s death
- Revisiting the world: Decreasing restriction in daily activities related to avoidance of situations that evoke painful reminders of the loss.
- Memories and connection to the deceased: Fostering access to memories of the lost loved one and enhancing the sense of enduring connection to the person who died
These core modules are gradually introduced in the first 6 sessions and each session thereafter utilizes all 7 modules.
In our research studies CGT was delivered in 4 phases:
Getting Started (sessions 1-3) introduces modules 1-4
Core Revisiting Sequence (sessions 4-9) introduces modules 5-7
Midcourse Review (session 10) taking stock and planning for the closing sequence
Closing Sequence (sessions 11-16) continuing work on modules 1-7 and discussion of ending the treatment