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Group Intervention Free Essay

The group intervention is designed for four students. Their names are G.A., C.F., T.H. and J.J. All students are males. They go 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. All boys have lost a parent, so they are experiencing grief and need a professional help. An effective group intervention requires, at least, three sessions to help children to deal with death of their parents. This paper will analyze the intervention with eight sessions and the way they responded to it.


Description of the Idea

The group intervention consists of eight sessions. Each session has a similar agenda, such as a theme and tools to be trained, opening ritual, at least one activity, handouts, and closing ritual. The opening ritual is candle lighting and closing ritual is blowing out the candle. The first session starts with introduction and ice-breaking. The group also creates the rules, and then students participate in three activities. The first activity is called “Move.” The goal of activity is ice-breaking. The facilitator reads twenty statements, and the students have to sit on an empty chair each time when they hear a statement, which is true for them. Second, ritual continues with so called “Talking stick.” Each student takes a stick and makes introduction about him during about three minutes. Finally, an activity “What got me there?” takes place. Its goal is to encourage everyone to tell who died and why. The handout for this session is named “Physical effects.” It is used to discuss the physical effects of normal grieving.

The purpose of the second session is getting to know each other and creating memory. Students complete the activity “What do you need,” which recognizes three symptoms of grief such as anger, sadness and confusion. Students describe their emotions and needs at different stages of grief, for instance, while feeling sad and angry. The handout is called “Common myths about grief.” The objective to achieve from the task is to discuss the myths about grief to make recovery faster and easier. At the end of the session, the students need to say what they will do to feel better.

The goal of the third session is to talk about the changes in family relations and other aspect of everyday life after the loss of a parent. First, students review what they discussed during the previous sessions as well as say about the things that they did to feel better. After that, students proceed to the activity “Rough mountain/smooth mountain” where they discuss the changes that happened in their lives after a parent’s death. Children have to draw a mountain with crevices and smooth parts, which helps to visualize more and less difficult periods in their life. Furthermore, the handout “Conquering depression” is applied to address the ways children can fight depression.

The fourth session is to continue the discussion of the family modifications and start talking about students’ feelings. Most of the time, students work on the activity “Collage” where they have to create a collage that presents their memories of a dead parent. In this case, boys use pictures from various magazines, glue and scissors. At the end, everybody has to present their collages. The students study the handout “Words of feelings,” whose aim is to analyze the words, which express the feelings of people who lost a close person.

The fifth session concerns feelings again. The students participate in the activity “Anger circle.” Its aim is to help boys to express their feelings of anger caused by the loss. Then, children review the handout “How to help grieving people” and learn how to support their family members. At the end, it is important to remind that only three more sessions left.

The sixth session’s aim is to address the tools of coping with grief. First, children complete the task “Dear Aunt Blabby.” Older children read “letters” to aunt Blabby, and the group tries to answer three questions: “What would you do? Have you had such situation in your life? What was it like? To help children feel more comfortable during this activity, stuffed animals are offered. The purpose of the task is to develop sharing and coping skills. The handout that is to be used is called “Ideas for coping,” which explains the possible coping strategies.

The theme of the seventh session is “good-byes.” The goal session is to prepare students for finishing the group intervention. Therefore, the central activity is “Forgiveness circle” where students learn to forgive themselves and dead parents for some words or actions. The last task is called “Memorial Activity” where the children are encouraged to talk about their memories connected with a parent. Notably, this activity helps them to say good-bye to the deceased person. Someone may bring a picture album and share the memories.

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The final session is about the closure. “Moments to share” is the activity where they say final words about a lost parent. At the end, children participate in a closing ritual called “Rose petals” during which each child takes a petal in the honor of the deceased. The main goal of this session is to check the effectiveness of the group intervention. If someone still does not demonstrate any signs of recovery, it is reasonable to assign some additional intervention for him.

Summary of what Happened on Each Session

During the first session, students introduced themselves and learnt the rules. The boys demonstrated the most of interest to the activity “Move” because they could move around the room. The only difficulty was with the last statements because they were quite personal for children. As for the activity “Talking stick,” the students failed to make introductions during three minutes. Moreover, J.J. managed to say only his name and started to cry. Other boys also told about their age and grades. During the activity “What got me there,” children had difficulties explaining the cause of a parent’s death. The activity “Physical effects” seemed too difficult for their age since they looked confused and passive. During the second sessions, students learnt to talk about their needs when angry or sad. They responded well to this activity. However, the “Common myths about grief” seemed hard for them because nobody knew the meaning of the word “myth.” During the third session, students responded well to the activity “Rough Mountains/Smooth Mountains” because they could draw and answer easy questions. The content of the handout “Conquering depression” was too complicated for them, but they managed to discuss their ways of coping with negative feelings. Thus, the boys told that they preferred watching TV, playing computer games and painting.

During the fourth session, the students liked making collages and they could even talk about their passed parents. The handout “Words of feeling” was less interesting for them because some words were unfamiliar. The fifth session was successful as the students learnt to express their anger and help their family members. The children were quite active during both tasks, but two students started to cry while working on “Anger circle.” In the process of the seventh session, the students could practice forgiveness, which made smaller children cry because they missed their parents and wanted to see them again. “Memorial activity” was also complicated for them because they had to bring photos of their parents and share memories about them. During the last session, the students were more open and talked about their memories. They looked comfortable during the task “Rose petals.”

Reflection on the Experience

The analysis of all eight sessions revealed that the students of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade responded better to the activities that allowed them moving, drawing or creating something with their hands. In particular, their favorite activities were “Move,” “Collage,” and “Rough Mountains/Smooth Mountains.” Working on these activities, they even smiled and looked active. Moreover, they spoke more freely. Besides, they liked sharing some positive moments about their parents. The opening and closing rituals with a candle made students more disciplined. They realized that they went to a session to learn something new and try to handle their grief. Besides, the ice-breaking activities were effective, and children got to know each other quite rapidly. They did not have any significant problems with sharing their thoughts and feelings. The positive indicator is also the noticeable improvements of student’s behavior during the last activities. They did not look upset when taking petals of a rose as a memory about their deceased parents.

On the other hand, they did not respond well to the handouts. In future, these activities should be replaced with some physical or creative activities. The main problem with handouts was their level of difficulty. Although they look quite easy for the students of this age, the group members needed more time for working on them. This fact made children feel bored and a little exhausted. In addition, handouts were used at the end of a session when the boys were quite tired. Thus, some handouts should remain but be used in the middle of the session. Besides, the agenda of sessions should be modified. The session should start with a short review of the previous meeting and opening ritual. Then, the students should complete one activity that allows reaching the main goal of the session. The next step is some game, signing or painting activity. At the end of session, students need a short summary of the ideas and a closing ritual. It is particularly important to make sessions easier for students because they are experiencing grief and cannot perform well.

In conclusion, the scenario of the group intervention helped the students to reduce their grief. The students liked some activities and looked comfortable while doing them. However, there were also tasks that were too complicated for children of this age. Therefore, they should be replaced by games, creative or singing activities. In future, it is also necessary to modify agenda to make students feel less tired and bored after a session.

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