Frequently Asked Questions
Grief Group FAQ’s
Q: My husband was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. Is there a support group for anticipatory grief?
A: Sometimes families experience terminal illnesses and anticipate the grieving process for themselves or for their children. We now offer a group specifically for families experiencing terminal illness. Families may join this group at any time after the diagnosis to find support for anticipatory grief.
Q: What if my child doesn’t like to talk?
A: At Calm Waters, we believe in the support group model to offer grief companions during a time of death, divorce, or other family loss issues. In this model, our groups offer an “I pass” rule. This allows any child that does not feel comfortable sharing his/her story to simply “pass” and actively listen to others in the group. This allows the child to hear other situations similar to their own and develop an understanding that they are not the only child experiencing intense thoughts or emotions. Once the child feels safe and comfortable in group, they may begin sharing.
Q: What if my child is feeling alone?
A: A support group at Calm Waters is the perfect place for a child who is feeling alone. Through the groups, children will meet others around their age who are going through some of the same experiences as they are. This will help children to understand that they aren’t the only ones who are feeling a certain way. It also gives them a support system, other than their family, that can understand what they are going through.
Q: Should we participate in a support group if the death or divorce we are going through was recent?
A: There isn’t one right answer for this question. Death is natural, so it is okay to give your child a few weeks to see how they adjust. However, reaching out for help is natural as well, so, it is also okay to enroll if you are seeing immediate changes in your child’s behavior. With divorce, we do not require your divorce to be final in order to be in a group. We encourage you to come to support groups at any time before, throughout, or even after your divorce.
Q: What if my children are close in age?
A: At Calm Waters, we do an intake session before you ever come to group. With this, we figure out a way to put your children in groups, either together or separate, based on what we think is best for the child. Therefore, even if your children are close in age, we will do our best to accommodate all of the needs of the family. We have had siblings in the same group before and we had healthy outcomes for both of them, but if you don’t think that will work for your children, we will work with you.
Q: Can adults other than just the biological parents of the children attend the group?
A: Yes. At Calm Waters we want to help anyone and everyone who is suffering through a loss. Sometimes a grandparent may be going through the same loss as the rest of your family, or, maybe you remarried but are still suffering through the same loss as your child and your new spouse wants to attend. Either way, they are more than welcome to attend group.
Q: Can we join a support group late or do a support group more than once?
A: Yes. For the divorce support groups you can start attending as late as the third week. For the grief support groups, our groups are on-going. You and your family may join at any time and stay for as long as needed.
School Support Groups FAQ’s:
Q: Who can attend the school support groups?
A: We have school support groups for students Pre-K to 12th grade. The groups are split up by age and the curriculum differs between elementary and middle/high school. Any student dealing with loss issues is more than welcome to attend group. This support group can help with any type of loss, whether it be loss of a pet, deportation of a parent, incarceration of a parent, a death in the family, divorce, etc.
Q: How do I get a school support group started?
A: To start a school support group, all you need to do is talk to the school counselor. The counselor, in turn, will set everything up with Calm Waters. We will work together with your school’s counselor to get a group started at the earliest convenience for everyone.
Q: What happens at a school support group?
A: At school support groups, the students come together once a week for six weeks. In the group, the students will learn coping skills, tips on dealing with emotions and will share experiences they may be struggling with. Students will also meet other students their age who may be going through similar situations or feeling similar emotions. They will hopefully find that they are not alone and have a group there to support them.
Contact Misty Gillespie for more information.