The observable examined

Kara – first session

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Last Wednesday, January 19th, Mahati and I attended our first group counseling session at the Episcopal Church on Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto. We were welcomed by the facilitators as well as Liz, Kara’s director. They were very nice and introduced us to the other families.

There were separate parallel sessions for the kids and adults. We introduced ourselves to the group and provided some background on the loved one we had lost.  The peer group was mostly well matched in terms of the circumstances surrounding the loss.  Some members in the group had been going to Kara for a long time. After some ground rules were established, the floor was open to the group for unstructured interaction. There was some comfort in finding out that the experiences faced by the group members were very similar. It was also abundantly clear that the loss was unique to each individual. More importantly, the atmosphere was very conducive to a free exchange of thoughts. (One person said she had been in another group at a different location and there was a bunch of older people who were feeling sorry or pity for her which was not very helpful).

Some in the group shared the difficulties they were facing and others responded by sharing what had worked for them in similar situations. It was amazing to see how easily strangers bonded in this environment of sharing. Sometimes members were just voicing their thoughts and not looking for any feedback. 

The feedback from Mahati was positive. She engaged in fun activities while sharing.  She has a time capsule that is to be opened a year from now. She is looking forward to going back.

One of the facilitators is trained in expressive arts. He explained through juggling (and accompanying commentary) how losing a parent increases the responsibilities for the remaining parent. This demonstration is intended for the children. Very powerful.

I now feel motivated to volunteer (as a facilitator) for future groups.


Written by asterix98

January 26, 2011 at 5:10 am

Posted in grief counseling

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