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FFGT Components

FFGT Enrollment.jpg

1)  Certification Core Courses (6 Modules / 3 Credits)

The Core Courses are offered as a series of 3-hour online modules, or onsite full-day workshops that can be taken in any of several locations around the world each year.  All are required for FFGT Certification.  Learners may complete these courses in any sequence they desire. 


  • Grief and Its Complications (2 Modules):  Contemporary models of grief, including conceptualization and diagnosis of complicated grief or prolonged grief disorder.


  • Grief Therapy - A Trauma-Informed Approach (2 Modules): Trauma-oriented interventions to help grievers process the Event Story of the loss and integrate it into their larger self-narrative.


  • Grief Therapy - An Attachment-Informed Approach (2 Modules): Attachment-oriented interventions to help grievers access the Back Story of the relationship and reconstruct the continuing bond with the deceased.

2) Orientation to FFGT (4 Modules / 4 Credits)


The Orientation to Family-Focused Grief Therapy equips learners to go beyond the individual perspectives and look at grief and loss through a systemic lens, in addition to Meaning Reconstruction framework.  Unique losses in family, such as spousal loss, parental loss, child loss, and sibling loss, and their varied dynamics and implications are examined.  Learners pursuing FFGT Certification are required to complete at least four Orientation Modules through live webinars or online recordings, or onsite workshops offered at any location in the world. 

These Orientation Modules cover the following essential areas:

  • Systemic impacts of loss in a family and the resulting changes in family dynamics

  • Different grieving and coping styles within a couple / family

  • Developmental considerations for individual family members

  • Family life cycle and its implications on family’s coping

  • Uniqueness of spousal loss, parental / guardian loss, child loss, and sibling loss

  • Principles in deciding on individual or conjoint sessions

  • Strategies in facilitating an experience of shared grief among family members

3) FFGT Techniques Modules (6 Techniques / 6 Credits)

Each module is focused on a specific therapy tools or techniques that may be delivered through onsite workshops, live webinars or online recordings. Learners briefly practice particular methods during the onsite workshops or live webinars.  In the online learning setting, learners are invited to reflect on these methods in their Responsive Journals.  Learners pursuing FFGT Certification are required to learn at least six Techniques

4)  FFGT Case Studies (2 Cases / 2 Credits)

Each case study consists of a case conceptualization exercise or videotaped clinical session with a close process analysis to reveal the therapist’s moment-to-moment reading of the client’s need and readiness to engage in specific meaning reconstruction tasks.  Learners are required to complete at least two Case Studies through live webinars, online recordings or onsite workshops for FFGT Certification.  

5)  FFGT Practicum Studio  (4 Studio Sessions / 4 Credits)
Learners form small groups and practice Meaning Reconstruction skills in conjoint sessions with couples and family members, with Portland Institute faculty serving as coaches, for role-play in a shared language.  Each session includes practice with learners taking turns in the role of the therapist, clients and observer, followed by feedback and processing.  Learners are required to complete at least four Studio sessions for FFGT Certification.

6)  FFGT Mentoring (3 Sessions / 3 Credits)

Learners are required to fulfill at least three 1-hour individual Mentoring sessions in Meaning Reconstruction for grief and loss in families with one of the Portland Institute faculty in a shared language.  These sessions may be conducted in face-to-face mode, or via phone or videoconference.  

7)  FFGT Session Evaluation (1 Recording / 1 Credit)

Following the completion of all the above Components, learners need to submit one 50-minute video recording of an application of Meaning Reconstruction in addressing grief and loss in a family context in an actual session or in role play, along with a transcript of the session.  The session is then evaluated for demonstration of competency in working with grieving clients from a meaning-making and systemic perspectives.  Learners then either receive extensive written feedback or schedule a 1-hour feedback session with one of the Portland Institute faculty in a shared language.
Meeting Our Faculty Team.
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