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A Traumatic Death Support Group Program: Applying an Integrated Conceptual Framework

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This article describes an 8-week, curriculum-based traumatic death support group program that is offered at Bo's Place, a grief and bereavement center in Houston, Texas. The program was implemented in 2006 in an effort to help family members who had experienced a death in the family by suicide, murder, accident, or sudden medical problem. The program provides the opportunity for families to come to the center and engage in selected activities as a unit, while also providing adults and children the opportunity to participate in separate support groups with curricula adapted to different age levels. The program uses an integrated conceptual framework that draws upon elements from a variety of theoretical and conceptual models related to grief. The purpose of the program is to provide multiple paths for progress in the grief journey for the bereaved. In 2008, Bo's Place incorporated a brief questionnaire into the weekly meetings, in an effort to gain a better understanding of the perceptions of adult participants of the program and their own progress in their grief. The questionnaire asked adults to provide self-ratings of their perceptions of support from the program and of their progress in their grief journey. The positive results from this pilot study have encouraged Bo's Place to develop plans for more rigorous research into the mechanisms that contribute to progress in the grief journey for bereaved adults and children.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, Houston,Texas, USA 2: Bo's Place, Houston,Texas, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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