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Children Grief & Bereavement How can we understand and help a child deal with their pain of loss Erica Olsen CQ University Masters of Clinical Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Children Grief & Bereavement How can we understand and help a child deal with their pain of loss Erica Olsen CQ University Masters of Clinical Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Children Grief & Bereavement How can we understand and help a child deal with their pain of loss Erica Olsen CQ University Masters of Clinical Psychology

2 What Contributes to Loss Consider these questions, think about your own grief experience for a moment… 1. Think about a loss you have experienced 2. What losses do you think children would experience 3. How does your own grief sit with you now

3 Loss is Universal Grief is normal No two grief's are the same A part of living A process we all go through

4 Sesame Street deals with the BIG emotions…………….

5 Living with the pain of Loss Supporting grieving children L Listen and give reassurance O Provide the opportunity to express their feelings S Be Consistent and provide a safe place S Ensure responses are appropriate for the age

6 Grief Work Supporting grieving children Acknowledge the reality of the death or loss Modify the family world view to incorporate the loss Re-organize the family system to help them move on

7 How can you help….. “Walk through the process with the child” RESPECT The child’s need is to be respected, encourage them to talk about the loss UNDERSTANDING As you gain understanding it will help you understand the child ENABLEMENT We don’t cure grief, we support and enhance the normal healing process

8 DEVELOPMENTAL DIFFERENCES Why are children thinking and feeling this way …… Age 0-3 No concept of death, no image of object or person Experience the effect of the caregivers grief Age 3-5 No understanding of permanency Difficulty distinguishing fact from fantasy Separation anxiety and fear Age 6-10 May not realize every living thing dies they begin to understand death is final Begin to use coping strategies Adolescents Beginning to contemplate meaning and understand, death is final

9 What am I looking for in the Grief Process … …..

10 Mediating the risk…… Developing and use of rituals Managing any unfinished business Education around death and grieving Family and Peer support networks

11 Children Grief and Loss A final word from the author…… Remember to be a loving listener always Erica Olsen CQUniversity Masters in Clinical Psychology.

12 Children Grief and Loss Useful Websites…….. Cruse Bereavement Care: The Child Bereavement Trust: bereavement.org.uk Factsheets Mental Health and Growing Up. For parents, tearchers and young people: Books Walsh, F & McGoldrick, M. (2004). Living Beyond Loss: Death in the Family Wollfelt, A. D. (2001). 1.Healing a Childs Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas of Families, Friends and Caregivers 2.Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens: 100 Practical Ideas, simple tips for understanding and expressing your grief


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