A bereavement support group In the West Cumbrian Community
The relationship is the key Introduction/ History, background & support The impact Resilience Group plans Individual play therapy Feedback
History & background The inspiration for the group 2005: Interested members of staff Supportive organisation: we adapt to meet the needs of the families Referrals from health, schools and families Principles: Child and family led Axlines principles (1947): Warm friendly relationship, acceptance, recognition of feelings, reflection, allowance, childs pace, limits for safety. Using play for trauma: Children show a healthy tendency to cope with external difficulties and inner feelings through play (Terr, 1990, p 299)
The impact on the child Trauma: Anything that disrupts the optimal development of a child can be defined as a type of trauma to the system. (Ziegles 2002) Loss of a significant attachment Lack of control over a shattered world: perhaps feeling unsafe Lack of information or gaps in their narrative, knowledge Fear of asking questions, upsetting others, leading to nightmares No Involvement or preparation for the loss Poverty following the death Loss of the familiar: home, school, family
Resilience Re-building trust in the world Routines, sameness, warmth, love, time and appropriate support networks Working with families, as the experts Providing a safe space for joint experiences Finding strengths in the community: support, guidance and listening/ group dynamics
Week 8 Evaluation of group Interview each other Hedgehog hunt Refreshments Candle ceremony This Little Light of Mine Balloon release Plans for Weekly Group Week 1 Use ball to do instructions, who we are here to remember/if able to Name badges and self portraits for wall Musical instruments to connect Refreshments Introduce memory boxes Goodbye Song Shoe box for next week Week 2 Welcomes, use ball, say name something you remember about ______ Notebooks introduced Journals-your story all about you Decorate memory boxes Think about what to put in Refreshments Goodbye Song add a verse each week. Week 3 Welcomes, name ball, feelings we might have when someone dies Natural expressions of anger naming Beanbags, clay, Tesco tantrums, wall throw, get it out!! Need for make-up when adults come back in Containment of emotions To know we are not bad People love us as a whole person Warm fuzzy feelings create creature Goodbye Song Week 4-Stones Ball, name, memories 3 stones-everyday, special, difficult (feelings or memory) A real picture, check out queries with adults Bag and decorate-like our bodies contain us all that we are Goodbye song Week 5-Quilts Journey, dress up and story creation Cllifford and search for quilts Refreshments Create a safe place cushions, beanbags, tents, a den!! Aladdins Lamp, magic, special fingertips movement Body, mind connect Goodbye Song Week 6-Salt Jars Helping Hands Building blocks Gaps, solutions Cement Knock over Re-build Photos of each other Dr Spot answer questions Week 7 Connection to ourselves Draw around each other Complete the person, feelings, colours Helping hands attached Photographs of each other Momentos into Journals Refreshments Goodbye Song
Creative Stories/ Poetry The Beautiful Flower My Feelings
THE BEAUTIFUL FLOWER The beautiful flower had opened her petals wide to the sun, But then the wind blew strongly and rocked her from side to side. She felt she would collapse and her roots would be lifted from the ground. She was so afraid and closed up into a tight ball for protection. The flower thought that it was not safe in this place and that something terrible would happen. The large, strong oak tree noticed this happening and spoke to the beautiful flower. My dear girl, I will offer you shelter from the wind. I have been in this exact place for hundreds of years and you are one of the most precious flowers I have seen. The wind carried you here as a seed to be beside me and when it rocks you it will not hurt you. I will be here to hold the ground beneath you. The beautiful flower was still unsure but she listened to the wise oak tree and began to believe his words. A ladybird landed on one of her leaves. Hello said the bug, I have been on a long and difficult journey and I have survived. I feel tired, but happy and your leaves are so soft and comforting to me. I am glad to arrive in this place. I know that if I was too afraid of this world I would not be able to fly and see such wonderful things. The magical sights would remain, but I would not experience the special feelings a full like brings. I have never seen you open up your petals, but the oak tree tells me that they are magnificent. Please let you beauty shine, do not be afraid of the wind, it is part of the wholeness of nature. The air, the fire, the water and the earth. Without one the other could not exist. The beautiful flower relaxed and looked up at the oak tree. She totally trusted she would be safe in his shelter. She let each petal open, the ladybird had helped her to see that she must trust to grow and develop. To be all that she could be. The sun came out from behind the clouds and all at once she opened completely. Her petals were indeed magnificent and she glowed from the inside out. Loving the feeling of the heat from the sun, she fire element. The beautiful flower had been closed for such a long time and felt joy lift her upwards and outwards. In that moment she knew that this was her place, her time. That she too could offer comfort to the tiniest, most fragile bugs who rested on her colourful petals. Next to the oak tree, the wisest of guardians with the strongest roots grounding her in reality.
My Feelings I feel sad in some ways and it makes me get mad Sometimes people say nasty things and I can not help but get angry, so then it starts when I have a fight with them but sometimes it is just best to walk away and the nasty things are like something about my Dad. So now I think to myself my Dad as gone and he cant come back and crying will not bring him back. But I love my Dad and I always will because I loved my Dad very much and no-matter what he is my Dad.
Other Services: 1:1 play therapy/ home support. There are times when group work is not suitable or appropriate for children. In these circumstances we offer 1:1 support in the home, but mostly in school. Meeting regularly with parent/ carers to continually assess and review. Examples: There is additional trauma in connection with the death of a loved on, which needs some resolution. The death of a loved one has been very recent and the family are not able to attend a group as they have not accepted the loss. The child or parent does not want to be part of a group due to their individual circumstances.
Feedback on the group Adults: It has helped us to be stronger and to look forward to our future More open in general – children not frightened to speak about their emotions Thought the help we received was wonderful The service given is invaluable and important to people in need of support The help you gave both of us was just perfect Feeling happier and not feeling guilty for being happy Child: Much more settled. Less emotional outbursts Easy to talk to people who know where youre coming from
Children: Before the group: Child 1 - Child 1 - I felt a little bit sad because I cant really talk to anybody Child 2 - I felt like I was falling. I thought I didnt have anyone to support me Child 3 - I felt nervous Child 4 - I had no friends Child 5 - Before the group A was angry & he was arguing with my Mam. I was trying to help A and my Mam to be friends & I was a bit fed up After the group: Child Child 1 - I felt happy because I can talk to someone and I dont get you shouldnt be talking about that from my friends they dont understand that its nice to talk about my Dad Child 2 - I feel better but I dont know how to explain it Child 3 - Now I feel happy Child 4 - Ive found some friends Child 5 - I sometimes need help & A looks quite open & I can tell people more things now
Trips: Its been the best day ever Its been the best day ever Being together, its our first time out and about since Mam died Being together, its our first time out and about since Mam died Everyone meeting up with everyone again, seeing happy faces, hearing laughter, instead of sadness Everyone meeting up with everyone again, seeing happy faces, hearing laughter, instead of sadness Its been fun, really relaxing, happy atmosphere Its been fun, really relaxing, happy atmosphere