The Art of Healing Childhood Grief

About the authors and The HEALS Program

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The Art of Healing Childhood Grief:

A School-based Expressive Arts Program Promoting Social & Emotional Literacy

Anne Black, Ph.D., & Penelope Simpson Adams, M.A.

Based upon The HEALS Program, this book offers educators, counselors, and volunteers the nuts and bolts of a primary prevention program, including an eight-session framework with extensive expressive arts activities designed to educate and support grieving children. This creative and playful model offers a wonderful balance in educating children's minds and hearts through modeling compassion for the self and others. The unique format allows participants opportunities to learn about, navigate, and integrate their losses in healthy ways while enabling them to develop and master effective social and emotional communication skills.

The HEALS Program believes that if children are supported at times of loss, and strengthened with knowledge of coping strategies as soon as possible following a death, they will be better prepared for future losses, will have a reduced risk of emotional acting-out, and be less likely to abuse substances to deaden the feelings of grief.

The Art of Healing Childhood Grief is divided into the following six chapters:

Section I: The Backbone of the program outlines the origin and philosophy of HEALS. How children grieve based on their social and emotional development is explained as well as the signs of grief and how to listen to grieving children. The expressive arts are explained in a modicum of depth.

Section II: The Heartbeat is where the implementation of the program is discussed. The framework, session objectives, learning concepts, forms, how to create the physical space and safe psychological climate, and eight sample HEALS sessions are located here.

Section III: The Creative Mind incorporates all the activity suggestions: attunements, a variety activities to accompany each session, puppet shows, grounding techniques, and closing ceremony ideas.

Section IV: Death Crisis Intervention: is explained as well as how to develop bereavement teams to support schools during these times of acute difficulty.

Section V: The Facilitator Sustenance: section of the manual provides tips and inspiration for grief facilitators. Caring for others can most effectively occur when we attend to our own needs.

Section VI: The Bibliographies and Resources section contains bibliographies for both children and adult referencing, resources, and more.

"This book is joyfully recommended!" - Donna O'Toole

Book Price:$49.95
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About the authors and The HEALS Program

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This page was last updated on 29 May 1999