After completting an information packet, and touring the center, children are placed in groups according to age and to the relationship of the person who has died.
We currently have five groups for children that have lost a parent or primary care giver, and two groups for those suffering the loss of a sibling. Based on attendance and specific needs, we attempt to assign groups by age levels. There is also a "Teen" group reserved for participants ages 13-17; this is available to accomodate the different needs of children and teens who are grieving.
Groups meet at the Healing House on their assigned day, twice a month from 7:00pm-8:15pm. We have recently begun to offer two afternoon groups, which meet twice a month from 4:15pm-5:30pm. Group sessions begin in the "Free to Be Me" room with group discussions. All group members may participate at their own comfort level. After the initial 'circle time', children are encouraged to utilize the toys and costumes for expressive play, be creative in the "Art Room", or release their anger in the "Hurricane Room".
Adults are not permitted past the lobby in order to give children the privacy to express themselves. During this time, parents may participate in their own group discussions or enjoy quiet time on the porch or in the garden.