Grief Recovery vs. Peer Support Programs
There are many misconceptions surrounding grief recovery, including the idea that grief follows a linear path or a step by step process. In reality, grief is cyclical, organic, and depends on many variables. There is neither “closure” after loss nor recovering from grief. It can only be integrated into our lives, as part of our identity. That’s why peer support programs are particularly effective for grief. They help people face their grief from the start and develop a sense of possibility and hopefulness for the future.
What Are Grief Peer Support Programs?
Research shows that most children who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life greatly benefit from a peer support program. A peer support model brings grieving people together to form a compassionate and caring community who support and grow alongside one another. This community may be within a group setting, town, or school.
What Happens During Grief Peer Support Groups?
A traditional peer support group is thought to be people sitting in a circle and sharing their experiences. However, grief is not always expressed verbally, especially in children. This is why play, music, art, drama, and other creative outlets are frequently used to share emotions.
It is also beneficial that a child is involved in a program with other children within their age group. Often, children of the same age group will express grief similarly. For example, younger children spend more time expressing themselves through activities and play, whereas older children engage in more conversations.
Expressing and sharing grief is only the first step. Once a child feels understood, they become more open to express and share their emotions in a healthy and positive way. Hearing how other children of a similar age or situation are coping with or growing from their loss is extremely valuable. Further, there is always a professional leading the peer support group who can offer guidance and coping tips.
About Good Grief’s Peer Support Programs
Good Grief’s peer support programs address the needs of the child and their family:
- Breaking down isolation and stigmas
- Equipping families with coping strategies and communication skills
- Promoting good mental and physical health
Good Grief raises awareness and advocates for grieving children and families to ensure that no child ever has to grieve alone. All of Good Grief’s peer support programs are offered FREE to all grieving children and families.
To learn more about our services, contact us online: good-grief.org/contact/