Imagery rescripting in the treatment of prolonged grief disorder : Insights, examples, and future directions

Background: Imagery Rescripting (ImRs) has received increasing attention in the past decades. It proved to be effective in reducing symptoms associated with aversive memories in a range of mental disorders, including anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Given its proposed working mechanisms, ImRs may also be a relevant treatment strategy for prolonged grief disorder (PGD), where negative appraisals, helplessness, and unmet needs play a key role as maintaining factors.


Objective: We aimed to illustrate how ImRs may be used in the treatment of PGD.


Method: We present examples of clinical cases for several central themes in PGD: (1) Unfulfilled responsibilities, self-blame, and guilt; (2) Third-party failures, other-blame, and anger; (3) Unfinished businesses, troubled minds, and regrets; (4) Unsatisfactory goodbyes; (5) Emotional loneliness; 6) Shattered self-identity and reduced selfclarity. Results: Based on the case examples, we illustrate how ImRs may be applied for each theme.


Conclusion: We hope to inspire clinicians to apply and researchers to investigate ImRs as a treatment strategy for PGD.

Franziska Lechner-Meichsner, Paul A. Boelen, Muriel A. Hagenaars | 2024
In: European Journal of Trauma & Dissociation ; ISSN: 2468-7499 | 8 | 3 | september | 100435
Prolonged Grief Disorder, Treatment