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Grief Support


Josie’s Place For Bereaved Youth and Families

Josie’s Place provides open-ended grief support groups to children, teens and their families.
Our groups meet in San Francisco, twice a month in the evening, on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday nights and the 2nd and 4th Thursday nights of the month and are free of charge.

The Need

Children have been called the “forgoten mourners”.  Because they grieve differently than adults, their process is often misunderstood. They appear to be fine because they grieve in small doses, and then go out to play. In fact, their grief is always with them. Children generally lack the verbal skills to express their feelings, so they often “act out” their grief.
 

Symptoms of grief may include anger, anxiety, inability to concentrate in school, regressive behavior and social withdrawal. Bereaved children may be confused by their feelings, and family members and teachers may not recognize their behaviors as signs of grief.

 
Un-addressed grief in children can lead to low-grade depression, anxiety, addictive behavior, a negative outlook on life, and low self-esteem throughout their lives.
 
 
 
 10-year old boy
 
 
 
The Value of Group Support
 
Our support groups normalize the grief process, help counter grieving children’s sense of isolation – they learn they are not “alone” - and provide outlets for creative expression of grief.
 
Our groups offer children new ways of understanding themselves and their loss, help build self-esteem, and strengthen their resilience. Parents or caregivers meet in concurrent groups. Because the whole family is supported, family ties are often strengthened as members grow together through their shared grief.
 

 
12 year old girl

Group Format

Josie’s Place offers 90-minute evening groups twice a month for bereaved families. Trained facilitators create a safe environment to support the grieving process.
 
Children's and Teens' Groups
 
In “talking circles” group members tell their stories of loss, recall memories, and express feelings associated with grief. Topics related to loss and activities such as art projects, letter writing, and dramatic play allow participants to explore, express and share their grief. Free time includes games and activities of the child’s choice, and allows them to take time out from their grief and to let off some steam.
 
Parents' Groups
 
Parents or caregivers of the bereaved children and teens meet in concurrent groups. Participants are provided information on how children and teens grieve and how best to support their grief process. The adult groups also provide an opportunity for parents/caregivers to express their own grief though discussion, mutual support and creative expression.
 
"Josie's Place has been the one bright star in this whole ordeal".   Josie's Place Parent
 
To view our video copy this link into your  browser:https://vimeo.com/user12767388/videos
 
Please call us at 415.513.6343 or email us at info@josiesplace.org if you are interested in learning more about our support groups.
 
 

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