Strategies & Methods
Content encourages awareness and understanding of feelings and experiences surrounding loss, reflection on personal losses and how grief influences behavior, discussion, and the development of positive ways to cope with grief. Students recognize destructive family patterns, learn the importance of forgiveness, learn to choose friends wisely, and learn to develop and sharpen their conscience and their character.
Personal Mission Statements
This crucial component facilitates healing, concern for others, and a sense of empowerment for the future as participants learn to define a sense of purpose, short and long-term goals, and responsibilities.
Participants write about their losses and feelings at their own pace and receive written support, validation of feelings, encouragement, affirmation, and guidance from the facilitator.
Group Sharing Time
A participant volunteers to share about a personal loss, giving group members an opportunity to identify with their story, offer support, and return words of compassion and encouragement.
Creating a Symbol of a Significant Loss
This is a craft activity, such as making a wreath, created in memory of a loved one or a specific loss.
"Letting Go" Ceremony
This public ceremony, which concludes the group, is a stepping stone toward healing and provides recognition for the courageous work participants have done to heal from and grow through their losses.
Growing Through Loss meets the critical items for curriculum review as suggested by the U.S. Department of Justice and National Institute of Corrections. The curriculum includes a facilitator guide, identifies a defined population, defined goals and objectives are stated, participant materials which support learning objectives are provided. Materials contain opportunities to practice newly learned behaviors, curriculum is supported by research and evidence of effectiveness and an explicit model of change is stated and supported. The curriculum employs multiple strategies that have consistently proven to be effective in teaching pro-social skills to offenders. This curriculum has been evaluated with positive outcomes and research has been provided by Indiana University School of Social Work and staff.