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  • 1. Art of Enjoying Life Grief and Forgiveness GroupA Psychoeducational Experience Gloria Aurora Champion-Castro


  • Art of Enjoying Life
  • Psychoeducational Thanatology Group Model
  • Purpose
  • Offer a psychoeducational
  • experience with the aim of helping in the
  • understanding and relieving of grief and pain
  • related to a loss.


  • Loss is a natural aspect of life
  • and grief is a natural
  • response to loss.
  • Grief is in essence related to the loss
  • of a loved one that died
  • but it can also be related to other losses for example:
  • divorce, illness, a dramatic change in life or the process of transition from one stage of development to another.


  • Sometimes it is difficult to recognize that we are passing through a grieving process.
  • Healing grief is the need to experience forgiveness and have de ability to move forward.
  • Forgiveness may be a process that can become difficult and painful.


  • Number of sessions recommended:
  • 8
  • Sessions time:60 minutes
  • Number of members: between five and ten
  • This group can be developed in a school, institution, agency or other settings
  • This can be an open group allowing the integration of new members each session.


  • Eight Sessions Group Model
  • What is and how to recognize grief?
  • The phases of grief proposed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.
  • Overcoming and moving beyond the grieving process.
  • How to overcome denial and isolation.
  • Strategies to overcome frustration, sadness and anger related to the loss.
  • Learning to forgive.
  • Learning to live with the loss
  • How can we help those we love who are sharing our loss?


  • Recommendation
  • Before working with others about their loss it is necessary that the leader of the group fully examines his/her own loss or losses
  • The deeper we can review our own losses
  • will allow us to be effective
  • when helping others.


  • Each session will follow the next steps:
  • An introduction to the topic of the session by the group leader with an active participation from the group members.
  • Relaxation and guided meditation exercise.
  • Round of voluntary participations.
  • Expressing feelings through art activities: painting and dramatizations.
  • Summarizing and closing the session.


  • Session I
  • 1. Introduction to the topic:
  • What is and how to recognize grief?
  • Death and loss are the most unwanted topics because they produce a deep feeling of anxiety, fear and/or remembrance of emotional pain.
  • When working with adolescents we may consider a loss the transition from infancy to adolescence.


  • The body left behind, cognitive processes as well as behaviors and relationship patterns are changing dramatically.
  • This is one of the reasons that this model can be beneficial for adolescents because they are going through a grieving process per se.
  • Other reasons to participate in this group can be:
  • A death in the family or in the group of peers
  • Parents going through a divorce
  • Loss of appreciated ways of life
  • Moving from one city to another
  • Failing to be successful in school or family settings


  • 2. Relaxation and Guided Meditation
  • Relaxation starts when the leader guides the group members to close their eyes and make three deep inhalations and exhalations.
  • The group leader will go over the different parts of the body with a soft voice, to help with the awareness of tension and relaxation.
  • After a few minutes of this induced relaxation the group leader will star with the guided meditation.

12. 3. Round of Voluntary Participations For the round of voluntary participation the group leader will say: Now that we are back from our guided meditation exercisewe will try to share what each one of us was feeling,or what other thoughts or images came to our mindwith the guided meditation Shared experiences will be analyzed from the perspective of howthey have enriched the persons lifeas well as to recognize what have been the learned thingsthat helped the personto be emotionally strongerand acquire a greater ability to enjoy life. 13. 4. Expressing Feelings Through Art Activities: Painting or Dramatization The last 15 or 20 minutes will be dedicated to the painting or dramatization part of the session.For the painting activity water colors and paper are recommended. All the members will seat down around a circular table with the water colors in the middle.There are no directions of what to do or how to do the art work. While performing art, the leader will promote a conversation sharing feelings: Fears, anxieties, sadness, happiness and other feelings and theirrelationship with death and abilities to enjoy life. 14.

  • 5.Summarizing, closing the session and connecting with the topic of the next session
  • Five minutes before the hour the group leader will state that
  • the session is almost ending,and will close the session with a
  • summary of the issues that emerged that day.
  • To close the session the group leader will share some personal
  • experiences and feelings that are relevant to the topic
  • and can be helpful for the members to understand their
  • feelings and thoughts.

15. Session II Topic: Phases of grief proposed by Kubler-Rosswho was one of thefirst researchers on death and dyingKubler-Ross says that there arefive basic stages in a grieving process:denial and isolation; anger;bargaining; depression;and finally acceptanceThe steps to follow during the sessionwill be the same for all the other sessions, for this second session it is recommended to play a dramatization. 16. Dramatization Before starting the dramatization there will be a planning phasewhere actors and observers will be democratically selected.A room with a small stage would be very helpful but if this in not possible,the room will be arrange with whatever it is there.Usually chairs and tables can help.The group leader will be the director indicating the momentsto begin and when to end the role playingaccording to a reasonable time for the play to take form. 17. It is very important after the dramatizationto assure and clearly say that every member of the groupwill talk and share their feelings and thoughts during the dramatization,and the last sharing round will be to get back to the real personand make a last sharing round about the feelings,experiences and thoughts that appeared during this session.The group leader will close with a summary andconnecting this session with the next one. 18. Sessions IIIOvercoming and moving beyond the grieving process. IVHow to overcome denial and isolation. VStrategies to overcome frustration, sadness and angerrelated to the loss. VILearning to forgive. VIILearning to live with the loss VIIIHow can we help our love ones with whom we share our loss? These sessions will be developed with the same structure for sessions I and II It is recommended to offer the painting activity for sessions I, III, V and VII and dramatizations for sessions II, IV, VI and VIII. 19.

  • During the eight session it is recommendedto make a verbal evaluation of the whole process:
  • What did we learn?
  • How can we apply this new experience?
  • What learning I think will stay with me for ever?
  • What do I recommend to the rest of the group?


  • When we accept
  • our human mortal condition
  • wecan to live every day
  • as if
  • this were the last day of our life
  • Enjoy Life
  • Thank You


  • References
  • Cappel, Mary Lou. (1997). Loss and the grieving process.Parks & Recreation , 32(5), 82.
  • Chopra, D. (1994) Cuerpo sin Edad, Mente sin Tiempo. Javier Vergara Editor. SA.
  • Freud, S. (1920) The pleasure principle. Complete Works, Third Edition, Biblioteca Nueva
  • Kubler-Ross, E. (1998) The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying. BSAEditions. Servaty-Seib,
  • Heather. L. (2004) Connections between counseling theories and currenttheories of grief and mourning.Journal of mental health counseling, 26(2),125-145.
  • Rimpoche, Sogyal. (1994). The Tibetan book of Living and Dying. Urano Editions.
  • Tommiel, Lawhon. (2004). Teachers and schools can aid grieving students.Education,124(3), 559-566.