Research shows that group support intervention for children and adults, as well as education for the parents and other adults in a child’s life, can lead to healthy grieving and help avoid the costs of unresolved grief as children grow to adulthood. When grieving children and families are given the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment, they can begin healing. Children can discuss their loss and challenges with peers in a safe and trusting environment. They can listen to one another’s experiences and have their feelings validated. Adults often find they are better equipped to handle life after loss and support their children more effectively after attending a support group.
Participating in a bereavement support group at Full Circle enables individuals to decrease their feelings of isolation, express their feelings, learn healthy coping skills, and develop a valuable network of peer support. Full Circle guides mourners toward more constructive behaviors such as talking, journaling, creating art, and expressing emotion rather than holding it inside.
Our objectives are to help grieving individuals:
- Strengthen Families in Grief: Grief surrounding a significant loss in a family often results in overwhelmed parents and, therefore, children grieve in isolation. We increase communication between family members so they can understand how they grieve differently. Parents learn to understand how to best support their child’s grief.
- Learn Coping Skills: Enable children/adults to learn coping skills such as ways to release intense feelings in healthy ways.
- Reduce Isolation: Reduce isolation so children/adults feel they are not alone in the challenges they are facing.
- Heal through Creative Expression: Enable children to use various forms of creative expression to identify and communicate feelings that are experienced after a death – in a setting that is supportive where everyone in the room has experienced something similar. Creative expression uses tools such as art, music, writing, dance, play, and crafts to help initiate discussions that might not otherwise have occurred.
Bereavement groups can be transformational to families. As children and parents bond with group members who have experienced a similar loss, their level of isolation, anger and guilt diminishes. As they learn effective coping mechanisms, they are more in control and see hope in their future. As they start to communicate openly with each other, they understand each other’s struggles more clearly, and their support for each other blossoms. As a result, a family is building a more cohesive, healthy framework for their future. At the end of group, they will have the tools to use in dealing with their grief, as well as deep connections with other families.
Learn more about Full Circle’s groups here: