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Dealing with Grief/Loss. Grief and Loss Grief – the feeling that occurs when one loses someone or something Grief – the feeling that occurs when one loses.

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Presentation on theme: "Dealing with Grief/Loss. Grief and Loss Grief – the feeling that occurs when one loses someone or something Grief – the feeling that occurs when one loses."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dealing with Grief/Loss

2 Grief and Loss Grief – the feeling that occurs when one loses someone or something Grief – the feeling that occurs when one loses someone or something Loss – not necessarily a person Loss – not necessarily a person –Parent or other family member –Friend –Pet –Terminal Illness –Status (social status, SES status) –Material things

3 Stages of Grief Denial, numbness, and shock Denial, numbness, and shock –“This did not happen. She is not dead, just went away.” Bargaining Bargaining –“I promise I’ll be good if she will come back.” Depression Depression –“I really miss her; I feel alone now.” Anger Anger –“Why did this have to happen? I hate her! She left me!” Acceptance Acceptance –“Grandma is gone but it is ok.”

4 How Children Deal with Grief 4-6 year olds: 4-6 year olds: –Grieve through play and imagination –May believe that death is temporary 6-9 year olds: 6-9 year olds: –Being to understand that death is irreversible 9-11 year olds: 9-11 year olds: –Have more mature concept of death –May want to know why and how it happened

5 Factors that Influence Grief Suddenness of death Suddenness of death Preventability of death Preventability of death Expression of good-bye Expression of good-bye Relationship to deceased Relationship to deceased Reactions of others around client Reactions of others around client Developmental level of client Developmental level of client Previous experiences with death Previous experiences with death Availability of support Availability of support

6 Some Signs and Symptoms Sadness Sadness Anger Anger Withdraw Withdraw Confusion Confusion Guilt Guilt Regression Regression Fear of being alone or dying Fear of being alone or dying Physical complaints Physical complaints Changes in sleeping and eating patterns Changes in sleeping and eating patterns

7 Children experience loss and grief in ways most adults forget or can not understand. Remember to a child it is all about the little things in life that can mean so much. It can be as BIG or as SIMPLE as: Broken toyAbuse HomelessnessNatural disasters Broken leg Violence Broken homeIllness Broken heart DeathUnemployment Divorce DrugsAids

8 Loss can include: Relationships = death of parents, grandparents, friends, animals, classmate, absence of a teacher, sibling or friend, unavailability of a parent due to imprisonment, divorce, or alcoholism Things = objects (teddy bear, toys, etc.) Skills and ability = things a child feels confident about, not picked for a sports team, overweight, injured, illness, held back in school, dyslexia…. The environment = moving, changing schools, flood, hurricane, blizzard, space shuttle, 9/11 Habits = sucking thumb, biting finger nails, twirling hair, beginning/ending school, change in routine Self = loss of a body part (finger, hand, leg, arm, eyes (glasses), loss of self-esteem (physical, sexual, emotional, or abuse)

9 “You’ll get over it.” “Crying won’t help.” “Be strong for your mom.” “It’s time to move on.” “You’re too young to understand.”

10 Children work through grief: Understanding = use age appropriate terms to help a child cope with “where” someone/thing may have gone Understanding = use age appropriate terms to help a child cope with “where” someone/thing may have gone Grieving = is also combined with anger and at times hard for adults to understand in a child Grieving = is also combined with anger and at times hard for adults to understand in a child Commemorating = help children remember good thoughts and memories about the person/thing/animal lost or gone Commemorating = help children remember good thoughts and memories about the person/thing/animal lost or gone Going on = keep children involved in activities (do not allow them to hide), and allow the thoughts and talk about the person who is gone Going on = keep children involved in activities (do not allow them to hide), and allow the thoughts and talk about the person who is gone (talking about memories is an important part of healing) (talking about memories is an important part of healing)

11 Techniques for helping children grieve: Identify feelings Identify feelings Story-telling Story-telling Puppets Puppets Art, music, clay, sand table, Art, music, clay, sand table, Role playing, drama Role playing, drama Journals Journals Memory books Memory books

12 Other Resources “Camp Courage” “Camp Courage” “Little Brave Hearts” “Little Brave Hearts” Also need resources for parents: Also need resources for parents: Grieving as wellGrieving as well Don’t know what to do about their children’s griefDon’t know what to do about their children’s grief Help Me Say Goodbye Help Me Say Goodbye –By Janis Silverman

13 References Beckmann, Roberta. (1990). Children who grieve. Florida: Learning Publications, Inc. Charkow, W. (1998). Inviting children to grieve. Professional School Counseling, 2(2), Eastman, K. & Samenfeld-Spect, E. (2006). The Remembering our children: Grief process at different ages. Retrieved May 21, 2009, from Partnership for Parents Web site: Eppler, C. (2008). Exploring themes of resiliency in children after the death of a parent. Professional School Counseling, 11(3), Goldman, Linda (1994). Life & Loss, A Guide to Help Grieving Children. Bristol PA: Accelerated Development. Lenhardt, A. C. (1997). Disenfranchised grief/hidden sorrow: Implications for the school counselor. School Counselor, 44(4), Mash, E.J. & Wolfe, D.A. (2007). Abnormal Child Psychology, Third edition. Thomson Wadsworth.

14 References Mildner, C. (2003). Coping with death, grief, and loss. Retrieved May 21, 2009, from University of Iowa Web site: O’Rourke, Kathleen & Worzbyt, John (1996). Support Groups for Children. Bristol, PA: Accelerated Development, Chapter 10, Samide, L.L. & Stockton, R. (2002). Letting go of grief: Bereavement groups for children in a school setting. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 27(2), Servaty-Seib, H.L., Peterson, J., & Spang, D. (2003). Notifying individual students of a death loss: Practical recommendations for schools and school counselors. Death Studies, 27, Silverstein, Shel (1994). No Difference, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Harper Collins Publishers.


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