Trauma & Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents Learning Collaborative

A unique training opportunity provided by The Lucine Center for Trauma and Grief

Sponsored by the Pacific Southwest & South Southwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Centers


The Pacific Southwest and South Southwest MHTTCs are coming together to co-sponsor a unique learning collaborative facilitated by The Lucine Center for Trauma and Grief this December 2021- August 2022.

Each of our regions will accept 20 providers (general mental health and school mental health) to receive intensive training and coaching on TGCTA (Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents).


Purpose of the PS & SSW MHTTC TGCTA Learning Collaborative


What is TGCTA?

  • TGCTA is an evidence-based, manualized intervention that addresses the complex needs of older children and adolescents contending with trauma, bereavement, or traumatic bereavement.

  • TGCTA’s modularized, flexible design allows clinicians to customize their intervention according to the specific needs, strengths, and life circumstances of specific youth and the time available.

  • TGCTA combines state-of-the-art assessment and treatment of trauma exposure, bereavement, and the interplay between posttraumatic stress and grief reactions that can arise following traumatic bereavement.

Learn more about TGCTA: Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents


What will you get from this learning collaborative?

Those participating in the TGCTA Learning Collaborative will gain:

  • High-quality, no-cost virtual training which allows you to become proficient in implementing TGCTA;

  • Expert support from TGCTA Master Trainers, including Julie Kaplow, PhD (co-developer of TGCTA), Marisa Nowitz, LCSW-S, and Stephanie Yudovich, LCSW-S, in your efforts to implement TGCTA at your site in a sustainable manner; and,

  • The TGCTA manual as part of the Learning Collaborative Materials (Sponsored by the Pacific Southwest and South Southwest MHTTCs).


Outcomes of the TGCTA Learning Collaborative
  1. Demonstrate commitment to measuring progress through ongoing data collection and maintaining fidelity to the model.
  2. Become proficient in implementing the trauma- and bereavement-informed assessment is an integral TGCTA component that guides case formulation, flexibly tailored treatment planning, treatment implementation, ongoing monitoring and surveillance, and treatment evaluation.
  3. Gain skills in differentiating between and addressing posttraumatic stress reactions, grief reactions (both adaptive and maladaptive), and their interplay following traumatic bereavement are core features.
  4. Access peer consultation from providers across the pacific and southwest regions
  5. National roster listing: The TGCTA Development Team is in the process of establishing a National Roster for those participants who have received TGCTA training. Once you have attained roster status, your status follows you as an individual practitioner and is not dependent on the participating organization.


When is this Learning Collaborative?


-1- TGCTA Foundational Trainings

Wednesday, December 15th and Thursday, December 16th, 2021

8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PST held virtually


-2- Action Period (Implementation & consultation calls)

The period following the TGCTA training is referred to as the Action Period. During the Action Period, participants are required to implement TGCTA and participate in consultation calls.

  • The Action Period is a time for each participant to practice new skills, implement and spread the practice, and develop the capacity to sustain it.

  • Fidelity metrics will be collected monthly from participants during the Action Periods, and de-identified, client treatment-related outcome data will also be collected during this time.

  • Learning Collaborative participants share their implementation successes and challenges via regular monthly consultation calls to further accelerate this advancement.


Eligibility & Fit

Providers from both the Pacific Southwest and South Southwest regions are welcome to apply.

  • Pacific Southwest eligibility: Providers in SAMHSA Region 9 (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and U.S. Pacific Islands of American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.

  • South Southwest eligibility: Providers in SAMHSA Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)


General Participant Requirements and Overview

The following required components for rostering will be expected of clinical participants of this current Learning Collaborative:

  • Participation in both full days (2) of the virtual TGCTA training

  • Participation in at least 9 of the 12 consultation calls offered once per month for 12 months following training

  • Completion of required fidelity metrics



  • The model focuses on the unique developmental risks, tasks, challenges, and opportunities associated with adolescence (ages 12-18)

  • TGCT was initially developed as a group-based modality but has been adapted for individual use. There are advantages to each modality. Group implementation allows mental health professionals to increase treatment efficiency, therapeutically leverage adolescents’ susceptibility to peer influences, and harness a wide array of potent tools found within therapeutic group settings, while individual use allows mental health professionals to increase tailoring of the treatment and process in greater depth with clients.


Continued Education

Continued Education for eligible mental health professionals will be offered to clinical participants (verification of training and consultation attendance is required). 

  • Initial training on December 15 and 16, 2021: 11.0 CEUs (to be awarded in December 2021)
  • Collaborative and Ongoing consultation from JanuaryAugust 2022: up to 8.0 CEUs depending on consultancy participation (CEUs awarded in August 2022)


How do I apply?

Trainees are vetted via an application process. This application packet contains critical information to help trainees understand the benefits of participating in this process, as well as important expectations to consider as they prepare to apply for the collaborative.







Julie Kaplow, PhD, ABPP

Kaplow is a licensed clinical psychologist, board certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Dr. Kaplow founded the SAMHSA-funded Trauma and Grief (TAG) Center in 2012 while on faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School and brought the Center to Texas in 2014. She now serves as the Executive Director of the TAG Center at The Hackett Center for Mental Health as well as CEO of the Lucine Center, the TAG Center’s affiliated group practice. A strong proponent of a scientist-practitioner approach, Dr. Kaplow’s primary research interests focus on the behavioral and psychological consequences of childhood trauma and bereavement, with an emphasis on therapeutically modifiable factors that can be used to inform interventions. With support from the New York Life Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Kaplow is now in the process of establishing a “Trauma and Grief Coalition” of clinicians across the country who are trained in the implementation of an evidence-based intervention for youth exposed to trauma and loss.

Dr. Kaplow has published widely on the topics of childhood trauma and grief, with over 75 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, including articles focused on marginalized populations such as LGBTQ youth and youth of color. She is lead author of Multidimensional Grief Therapy, co-author of Collaborative Treatment of Traumatized Children and Teens: The Trauma Systems Therapy Approach, and co-author of Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents.  Dr. Kaplow has served as a consultant to the DSM-5 Sub-Work Group on Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder, the ICD-11 Work Group on Disorders Associated with Stress (PTSD and Prolonged Grief), the National Academy of Medicine (Scientific Advisory Council on Child Death), and the Mass Violence and Children Working Group of the FBI.

As the former Chief of Psychology and Vice Chair for Behavioral Health at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Kaplow was heavily involved in the development of programming and curricula for faculty, staff, and trainees related to self-care, vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and wellbeing. She also served as Co-Chair of the Wellness Committee at Texas Children’s Hospital, which involved developing and disseminating programs and resources to assist in preventing compassion fatigue and burn-out among pediatric healthcare workers. She has provided numerous trainings and workshops on these topics across a range of settings including hospitals, schools, bereavement support facilities, pediatric offices, and after-school programs in under-resourced communities.

Dr. Kaplow 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 specialized postdoctoral training in childhood trauma at the Center for Medical and Refugee Trauma at Boston Medical Center.


Marisa B. Nowitz, MSW, LCSW-S

Nowitz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker-Supervisor with twenty years of clinical experience, as well as expertise in program planning, training, and education for mental health clinicians, health care providers, educators, caregivers, and other professionals. As Director of School and Community Engagement at the Trauma and Grief (TAG) Center, and a Clinical Social Worker at the Lucine Center, Marisa provides school and community-based trainings in the areas of children’s trauma and bereavement, trauma- and bereavement-informed organizations and schools, evidence-based assessment and treatment, as well as secondary traumatic stress, self-care, and a variety of other mental health topics. Marisa is a certified problem-based learning facilitator for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma, as well as a Master Trainer and clinical consultant for Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents (TGCTA). Marisa was also responsible for overseeing evidence-based, trauma- and bereavement-focused services in the community of Santa Fe, TX following the tragic school shooting in May 2018. Marisa has extensive experience utilizing evidence-based assessments and interventions with children and families who have experienced mass violence at school, as well as those who have experienced other types of traumas and/or losses.

Prior to joining the TAG team, Marisa spent much of her career working as a clinical social worker and supervisor at MD Anderson Cancer Center, creating and overseeing programming for children whose parents had cancer. Marisa served as a national co-trainer for The Children’s Treehouse Foundation, a Denver-based, non-profit organization dedicated to training mental health and health care professionals in a psychosocial intervention to support families coping with parental cancer. Marisa’s experience also includes providing clinical services and psychosocial support as part of a multidisciplinary team to both pediatric and adult patients experiencing a variety of illnesses and injuries in the medical setting.

Over the last fifteen years, Marisa has provided numerous trainings to multidisciplinary teams, including physicians, nurses, administrators, medical assistants, behavioral health staff, chaplains, and hospital staff, on a variety of trauma- and grief-related topics in healthcare settings across the state of Texas. Many of these trainings have focused explicitly on burnout and stress management, compassion fatigue, vicarious resilience, self-care, interpersonal communication, and suicide prevention among healthcare providers.

Marisa completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston.


FAQs about this opportunity 


Why a Learning Collaborative Methodology?

Collaboration & Mutuality: Learning Collaborative methodology is an approach intended to support the effective delivery and sustained use of evidence-based treatments in community practice settings. Unlike standard clinical training models, the Learning Collaborative methodology includes extensive training in an evidence-based practice (EBP), as well as methods to help participants fully implement and sustain the practice.

Establishing Measures: Fidelity Metrics: All improvement requires change, but not all change results in improvement. The Learning Collaborative model uses implementation metrics to help participants gauge whether their efforts are resulting in progress toward the collaborative goals. Participants are required to collect and submit data on a regular basis and review the metrics internally.


What is TGCTA?

TGCTA (Saltzman, Layne, Pynoos, Olafson, Kaplow, & Boat) is an evidence-based, assessment-driven, modularized treatment for adolescents aged 12 to 18 whose histories of exposure to trauma, bereavement, traumatic bereavement, and other major life adversities place them at high risk for severe persisting distress, functional impairment, risky behavior, and developmental disruption. Originally designed for small-group settings, TGCTA can also be used effectively in individual treatment. TGCTA has been implemented in school districts, mental health clinics, and juvenile justice sites across the U.S. and abroad, and has shown effectiveness in reducing posttraumatic stress reactions, maladaptive grief reactions, depression, school problems, disruptive behavior and violent behavior. Positive outcomes include improved peer relations, GPAs, school rule compliance, and school interest.


Why does TGCTA contain four modules and what are the intervention objectives of each?

TGCTA contains four modules, which can be flexibly selected and sequenced to match youths’ individual assessment profiles. This design allows therapists great flexibility in tailoring treatment according to the specific intervention objectives for each individual client or therapy group. A description of the four modules is as follows:

Module I intervention objectives include deepening adolescents’ insight into the ongoing effects of trauma and bereavement. These insights include ways in which trauma reminders and loss reminders (and the posttraumatic stress reactions and grief reactions they evoke) continue to affect their daily lives. Other objectives include strengthening the therapeutic alliance, establishing positive group norms, building group cohesion, enhancing self-regulation and coping skills, and improving adolescents’ ability to recruit social support.

Module II intervention objectives include processing traumatic experiences by constructing trauma narratives, identifying worst moments, and challenging and modifying traumatic expectations and other maladaptive appraisals. Other intervention objectives include strengthening youths’ impulse control by helping adolescents understand and predict the ways in which trauma reminders can trigger emotional dysregulation and risky behavior and developing more adaptive ways of coping with trauma reminders.

Module III intervention objectives include identifying personal loss reminders and clarifying the grief reactions they evoke, identifying personal grief reactions, reducing various types of maladaptive grief reactions as needed, and promoting adaptive grieving and mourning.

Module IV intervention objectives include promoting adaptive developmental progression by reflecting on trauma-induced disruptions in their personal development including lost developmental opportunities, forming positive yet realistic life plans and future ambitions, and taking concrete steps to address and achieve them. Other intervention objectives include increasing youths’ problem-solving abilities, reducing risky behavior, facilitating prosocial behavior, and helping youth prepare for the roles and responsibilities of young adulthood and full citizenship.


More questions? Contact Leora at [email protected]


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