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  • 1. Guide to Support Groups for Parents/Caregivers Presenters: Patti Cox, CZC Employee Jill FitzGerald, LCSW
  • 2. About Us Our Mission Comfort Zone provides grieving children with a voice, a place and a community in which to heal, grow and lead more fulfilling lives. Our Vision Comfort Zone envisions a world where grieving children are not forgotten or left to grieve alone, and are supported by a wide community that understands and appreciates them. Comfort Zone Camp is the nation’s largest bereavement camp. Comfort Zone Camps are offered free of charge to children ages 7-17 who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. The camps are held year-round in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia. Comfort Zone Camps create an environment where grieving children can have fun and break the isolation death often brings, while learning valuable coping skills for their daily lives.
  • 3. Check out Comfort Zone Camp CZC Video Clip will be embedded here on final version
  • 4. Support Groups We offer free grief support groups for adults and children ages 5 and up. The groups contain 8-10 members, with children gathered by age. The groups meet one hour and 15 minutes a week for six weeks. Comfort Zone Support Groups are facilitated by trained grief counselors, and are designed to: • provide a safe and separate place for children and adults to express their grief, emotions, fears, and concerns, foster an age-appropriate understanding of the reality and circumstances of death • strengthen coping skills • boost self-esteem • reduce the feelings of isolation common in the grieving process. The child and adult support groups are held at the same time, so that the family can focus on their individual grief simultaneously.
  • 5. Group Formation  Breakdown of 6 week interval  Groups designed based on type of loss & length of time since the loss  Size of group: 8-10 members  Length of session: 1 hr. 15 minutes to 1 hr. 30 minutes is ideal
  • 6. Group Structure  Create sense of safety via guidelines  Discuss differences (loss, timing, type of death, personal beliefs, etc)  Sharing personal stories  Discuss feelings and emotions, develop coping strategies  Wrap up is crucial! Use of rituals; allow parents to own the group by bringing in materials-books, articles, poems, etc.
  • 7. Getting Started  Begin & end the group with activity to help release endorphins… Video Clip of Ice Breaker games will be embedded here on final version
  • 8. Activities/Interventions  Showing pictures  Weekly Challenge  Ice breaker games  Self Care Quiz  “Have you Ever?”  Guided  Choice Game Imagery/Affirmations-  Veteran Parent Panel Belleruth Naparstek  Coping Strategies  Random Acts of Kindness Competition  Affirmation Activity with  “The Things They Carried” Yarn – “Spider web” Exercise  Music & Journaling  Closing “pulse check”  How to Know When You Are Getting Better….
  • 9. Pyschoeducational Component: “Knowledge is Power” The Work of Grief ”No less strenuous a task than digging a ditch” (Rando, T.) Discussion of Triggers: What triggers do to create a resurgence of the grief response What Grieving Children Need Grief vs Trauma: Difference/similarities of grief & trauma The Grief Road Map
  • 10. Pitfalls  Clients coming too early following a loss  Isolation within the group  Timing constraints  Client’s monopolizing group time  Intensity level-potentially scaring other group members  Pacing  Watch your language! Give Descript or Example of Each
  • 11. Staying Connected/Follow-Up  Resources – handouts, websites, other agencies  Referrals to individual therapists  Future Sessions – encouraged to continue with additional sessions  Members often keep in touch and build new support systems  Bibliography- recommend continued education about grief via books/articles
  • 12. Group Structure  Wrap up is crucial! Use of rituals; allow parents to own the group by bringing in materials-books, articles, poems, songs, etc. Video Clip of Wrap Up will be embedded here on final version
  • 13. Resources HelloGrief.Org
  • 14. Success Stories Video Clip of interviews with adults who have been in the program for awhile and have benefited from it will be embedded here on final version
  • 15. Contact Us Email supportgroups@comfortzonecamp.org Phone Toll-free: (866) 488-5679 Internet: http://www.comfortzonecamp.org Postal: 4906 Cutshaw Avenue - 2nd Floor Richmond, VA 23230