A: Play is a natural form of expression. A child uses various play activities and materials as tools to express his/her many different emotions and thoughts.
A: Services are provided at no cost to families. We rely on support from donations, grants and volunteers.
A: We ask that an adult accompany children while they are participating in groups at Healing House. Other parents/caregivers provide support for each other in the adult group or you can enjoy quiet time on the front porch or lounge. Since grieving children experience separation anxiety, the children are allowed to “touch base” with you at any time, thus possibly interrupting the adult group. Children will need your attention and respect for the work they are doing during group.
A: A grief support group is made up of approximately 15 – 18 children, trained facilitators and a group coordinator. The group provides the children a safe place in which to talk about and play out their thoughts and feelings about their losses. Children generally do more playing than talking because play is the natural language of children. Children tend to use play instead of words to represent their changing world.
A: The facilitators are volunteers trained by Healing House to observe, listen and respond to grieving children. The group coordinator is a master’s level counselor or social worker who supervises the facilitators and children’s activities to assure that everyone is safe. Facilitators and coordinators do not provide therapy, but rather an environment where the children feel safe and able to work through thoughts and feelings.
A: Children should wear comfortable clothes that are subject to paint, play dough, glitter and other play materials. Children are permitted to bring “memory items” that they may want to share with other participants, and are not allowed to bring cell phones.
A: The Support Group takes place at Healing House which is designed to promote safe play and talk among the children and adults.
A: 160 South Beadle, Lafayette, Louisiana 70508 – right next door to Sugar and Spice Daycare.
A: Healing House offers support groups for children ages 4 – 17 who have experienced the death of a loved one. Adults also benefit through developing a support network with other adults.
A: Children ages 4 – 17, who are in the process of or have experienced a death of a primary caregiver or sibling.
A: Just as a child enjoys having the same story read several times, so the child replays various grief themes. With the help of the adult facilitators the child learns to:
- Acknowledge the reality of death.
- Experience the emotions, thoughts and behaviors associated with grief.
- Adjust to living in a world in which the person who has died is absent.
- Withdraw emotional energy from the person who died and reinvest it in other relationships.
- Establish a relationship with the memory of the person who died.