The Seasons for Growth program developed by Good Grief is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and valuable part of life. The children examine the impact of changes such as death, separation, divorce, and explore how to live with and grow from these experiences.
The core intentions of the program is the development of resilience and emotional literacy to promote social and emotional wellbeing. The program is educational in nature and does not provide therapy.
The imagery of the four seasons is used to illustrate that grief is cyclical, not a linear journey and it can have a clear end. Trained “Companions” facilitate small groups where participants share their experiences, and support and learn from one another. The support of peers is a key element of the program, and confidentiality is strongly emphasised.
Small groups of 4-7 children work with a trained adult Companion (facilitator) who supports the children in learning new ways to share, think about and respond to the changes and losses in their lives. Children learn that they are not alone in dealing with the effects of change, loss and grief. They build their understanding and communication, decision making and problem solving skills as part of a supportive peer group.
The Program takes place over a structured eight week period filled with peer-to-peer, age appropriate learning opportunities – with time to talk and listen as well as take part in activities including drawing, music, art, journaling, roleplays and story-telling. At the conclusion of the sessions, all children come together for a celebration session.