The Grief Game by Yvonne Searle, Isabelle Streng


The Grief Game by Yvonne Searle, Isabelle Streng

This game is for children and adolescents who have experienced bereavement and is particularly useful for those struggling to come to terms with their loss. Intended for group work, it may also be played with individuals and can be used to facilitate intra-familial communication when played with families. The game can help to remove some of the taboo surrounding death and can help children to realize that other children and adults experience similar reactions. It can be played over several consecutive sessions or tailored to the pace of the treatment. The game comprises a game board, counters, dice and four sets of colour-coded cards arranged in categories corresponding to coloured shapes on the board: facts ; thoughts ; wishes and dreams ; memories and emotions . This is part of a series of therapeutic board games, each of which has been carefully developed utilizing an integrative psychotherapy model which incorporates systemic, cognitive-behavourial, humanistic and psychodynamic orientations. A therapist should always be present playing the games, which address factual issues and focus on emotional expression, belief systems, cognitive processes, behavourial responses, relationships, fantasies, memories and dreams. They provide a safe, boundaried space where children and adolescents may explore their inner feelings, and can be used to answer questions which children may have been afraid to ask.

About the Author

Dr Yvonne Searle, BSc., MPhil., ClinPsyD., CertBehPsych, was a Chartered Clinical Psychologist for the NHS and in private practice in Cambridge. Dr Isabelle Streng is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and works at the Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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Yvonne Searle, Isabelle Streng
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Publication date

1st January 1996



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