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Living Thought Loss
A Training Guide for Those Supporting People Dealing with Loss
by Fay W. Jacobsen, Margaret Kindlen, and Allison Shoemaker

This resource aims to provide a complete program to train people who are expected to support others experiencing bereavement and other emotional trauma.

Full Description:   

This training manual is designed to enhance counseling skills, deepen self awareness about loss related issues, enable participants to share personal experiences, identify relevant resources that will support and inform participants.

This resource also provide a complete program to train people who are expected to support others experiencing bereavement and other emotional trauma. It features an explanation of the learning methods and ethical issues, role-playing exercises, and easy-to-use course materials for the facilitator.

The course confronts the fear of mortality, promoting self-awareness and self-nurturing in carers to prepare them for the pain, fear, anxiety and anger of those who have been abused or grieving, and will help to develop the skills that enable caregivers to fulfill their tasks. Included is a lesson plan devoted to exploring spirituality.

Title: What do we mean by loss?

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Timing: 15 minutes

  • For people to share their perception of loss and grieving
  • Energizing
  • To generate as many ideas as possible in a short time

What you need: Flip-chart and marker pens

    What to do:
  1. Outline the aims of the activity
  2. Outline the rules of brainstorming.

    Brainstorming Rules:

    Invite ideas, from the group, in the form of short phrases or single words.

    These are written down verbatim on the flip-chart. Every contribution is accepted and no one comments on them. Lateral thinking is welcome and often stimulates a burst of new ideas. The collaborative nature of this activity helps in the process of forming the group.

  3. You may wish to invite a volunteer to scribe for the group.
  4. When no further ideas are offered, invite comments and observations on the scope of the ideas generated.

282 pages; 8 1/2 X 11;soft bound


    How it started
  • How it developed
  • The Package

Part I: Learning to Help People Live Through Loss

    The learning method
  • The learning environment
  • Principles underlying effective experiential learning practice
    Voluntary and active participation
  • Choosing to participate
  • Reluctant attendance
  • Accommodating participants' choices
  • The right to opt out
    Learning by making mistakes
    Taking responsibility for one's own learning
    Participants are equals
  • The physical representation of equality
  • Overcoming hierachies
  • Facilitators are equal members of the group
    Learning by co-operating and sharing
    Fun and pain in learning
    Creating the learning environment: A summary of the trainers' role
    Working with Groups
    Tuckman's (1965) model of group life
  • Forming
  • Storing
  • Norming
  • Performing
  • Ending
    A creative approach to difficulties
  • Some difficulties associated with group life
  • Whose difficultly is it?
  • How should the trainer react
  • When a trainer reacts inappropriately
  • If the group is responsible for its own learning, why does the trainer feel that she is wading through syrup?
  • Challenging and responding
  • Keep tuned in to the group process
  • Meeting the group's needs
  • Persistent 'difficult' behavior by a group member
    Group cohesiveness
    The elements of the course
  1. Information
  2. Skills' development exercises
  3. Self-awareness exercises
  4. 'Looking after ourselves'
    Support structures
  • Support for trainers
  • Structues that help participants to support themselves
  • Trainers support for participants
    Stages on experiential learning
  • Stage 1: Introduction to a session
  • Stage 2: Explanation of an exercise in a session
  • Stage 3: Performing an exercise
  • Stage 4: Processing, reflecting on and sharing an experience
  • Linking new learning to professional practice and personal life
  • State 6: Applying learning on professional practice and personal life
  • Stage 7: Evaluation of learning
    Balancing challenge and support
    Role-play as a tool in experiential learning
    Trainers have needs, too
  • Maintaining and improving skills
  • The 'Alter Ego Game"
    Practical steps in course planning
  • Sharing the planning
  • Choosing a venue
  • Publicizing the course
  • Application forms
  • Timing and circulation of advertising materials
  • Constructing the program
  • Selecting and notifying participants
  • Equipment and materials
  • Final planning
  • Reviewing the course

Part 2: Course Program and Lesson Plans

    Day I
  • Program for day 1
  • Lesson plans for day 1
    LP 1.1 Welcom and introductions
    LP 1.2 Centring
    LP 1.3 Getting to know each other
    LP 1.4 Sharing expectations
    LP 1.5 What do we mean by loss?
    LP 1.6 The grieving process
    LP 1.7 Responses to loss -feelings and self-awareness
    LP 1.8 Paired support
    LP 1.9 Looking after ourselves and summarizing the day
    Day 2
  • Program for day 2
  • Lesson plans for day 2
    LP 2.1 Introduction to the day; learning review
    LP 2.2 Centring
    LP 2.3 The hidden child
    LP 2.4 Recalling our "hidden child'
    LP 2.5 Writing Role-Plays in threes
    LP 2.6 Paired support
    LP 2.7 Looking after ourselves and summarizing the day
    Day 3
  • Program for day 3
  • Lesson plans for day 3
    LP 3.1 Introduction to the day and review of learning
    LP 3.2 Centring
    LP 3.3 Helping children grieve
    LP 3.4 Responses to loss - drama triangle
    LP 3.5 Demonstration role-play
    LP 3.6 Practising skills learned; group feedback from skills practice
    LP 3.7 Paired support
    LP 3.8 Looking after ourselves(relaxation); summarizing the day
    Day 4
  • Program for day 4
  • Lesson plan for day 4
    LP 4.1 Introduction to the day; review of learning; centering
    LP 4.2 Mini-lecture -stages of grief; video (optional)
    LP 4.3 Giving and receiving support (optional)
    LP 4.4 Working with feelings(optional)
    LP 4.5 Warm-up - 'fruit salad'
    LP 4.6 Practicing skills learned
    LP 4.7 Looking after ourselves (relaxation) summarizing the day
    Day 5
  • program for day 5
  • Lesson plans day 5
    LP 5.1 Introduction to the day; review of learning; centering
    LP 5.2 Managing change
    LP 5.3 Exploring spirituality
    LP 5.4 Taking course learning back to the work place
    LP 5.5 Course Evaluation
    LP 5.6 Closing exercise
  • Lesson plans for follow-up day
    LP F.1 Welcome and centering
    LP F.2 Feedback in groups and large-group feedback
    LP F.3 Discussion of issues raised
    LP F.4 Ending
    Additional lesson plans
  1. Getting to know each other
  2. Exploring loss through creative writing
  3. Reflecting on death
  4. Impact of loss
  5. Setting up a staff support group
  6. Setting up a bereavement support group
  7. Allegations of abuse; confidentiality
  8. Working with parents of grieving children
  9. Looking at love

Part 3: Facilitators' Materials

    Preparing for the course
  • FM 1 Group skills checklist
  • FM 2 Daily record forms
  • FM 3 Exercise: Co-trainer dialogue
    Running the course
  • FM 4 Johari window; trainers guide
  • FM 5 Feelings: their purpose and distortions
  • FM 6 Example of a role-play in three parts
  • FM 7 The Karpman (or drama) triangle (1): diagram
  • FM 8 The Karpman (or drama) triangle (2): trainers guide
  • FM 9 Experiential learning progression : a trainers' guide
  • FM 10 The grief process
  • FM 11 Setting goals
    Additional materials
  • FM 12 Offering physical support
  • FM 13 Poeams and songs: an introduction
  • FM 14 Poems
  • FM 15 Songs
  • FM 16 Sample leaflet

Part 4: Participants' Materials

    Materials for the structured course
  • Day 1
    PM 1 Professional and ethical guidelines
    PM 2 Sharing expectations worksheets
    PM 3 Johari window
    PM 4 Feelings: their purpose and distortions
    PM 5 Constructive use of feedback
    PM 6 Looking after ourselves
  • Day 2
    PM 7 The Hidden child
    PM 8 What is child abuse?
    PM 9 What is child abuse? Activity descriptions
    PM 10 How to write a role-play senario
    PM 11 Head and neck massage
  • Day 3
    PM 12 Listening (poem)
    PM 13 An adult remembers a childhood experience of hospital
    PM 14 Talking to bereaved children
    PM 15 The Karpman (or drama) triangle
    PM 16 Guidelines for counseling practice
    PM 17 Experiential learning progression
    PM 18 Breathing and the stress connection
  • Day 4
    PM 19 Responses to bereavement
    PM 20 Working with feelings
  • Day 5
    PM 21 Spirituality (Poem)
    PM 22 Change (exercise)
    PM 23 Spirituality (Statements)
    PM 24 Spirituality(some definitions)
    PM 25 One definition of spirituality (with examples)
    PM 26 Setting goals
    PM 27 Evaluation form
  • Follow-up day
    Pm 28 Retospective evaluation form
    PM 29 Excerpt from 'Return to Love' M. Williamson, 1992
  • Materials for use with additional Lesson Plans
    PM 30 Reflection on death (exercise)
    PM 31 Impact of loss (exercise)
    PM 32 Staff support goupd (guidelines)
    PM 33 A bereavement support group for clients (1: exercise)
    PM 34 A bereavement support group for clients (2: guidelines and an examle)
    PM 35 Allegations of Abuse: confidentiality(exercise)
    PM 36 Seven stages of transition (information)
  • Extra materials
    PM 37 How much support do you have?
    PM 38 Supporting adult survivors of child sexual abuse (guidelines)
    PM 39 Understanding why people harm themselves (information)
    PM 40 Please hear what I'm not saying (centering)
    PM 41 Advanced directives (information)
    PM 42 Medical Power of Attorney (example)
    PM 43 Living Will (example)
  • Structured Role-Play
    PM 44 Role-play 1: Adult recall of child sexual abuse
    PM 45 Role-play 2: a student who has received bad news from home
    PM 46 Role-play 3: bereavement after a happy marriage
    PM 47 Role-play 4: health problems two years after a bereavement
    PM 48 Role-play 5: a man with terminal illness plans big changes
    PM 49 Role-play 6: a child is dying of Leukaemia: father opts out
    PM 50 Role-play 7: a gay man dying of AIDS has plans to make
  • Alternative evaluation forms
    PM 51 Alternative evaluation form (1)
    PM 52 Alternative evaluation form (2)

Part 5: References, Further Reading and Resources

  • References
  • Further reading
    Young children and death
    Young children, child abuse and strangers
    Older children and death
    Older children, sexual abuse and violence
    People working with bereaved children
    People working with abused children
    People with disabilities
    People suffering from terminal illness
    People who are bereaved
    Counseling and group work: practice, training and background reading
    Physical, sexual, ritual, cult and satanic abuse
  • Resources
    Teaching/learning packs - Living with progressive disease, Bereavement, Violence, Counseling skills, AIDS
    Videos - Violence, Living with illness and Disease, Bereavement, Isolation
    Organizations - Cancer support, Counseling, Bereavement, Violence, Others

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