Group work - murder and manslaughter
A death by murder or manslaughter is one of the most painful and complicated types of bereavement families can experience. This means that families can benefit from a group intervention that offers opportunities to meet others with a similar experience, to talk openly, and to explore different ways of managing their feelings and the difficult situations they find themselves dealing with.
It is not uncommon for families bereaved by murder or manslaughter to feel that they can’t talk openly about their feelings and experiences. Because of this feedback we know that it’s important to have a group that is solely for families bereaved by murder or manslaughter.
Winston’s Wish offers a two-day residential group for families bereaved by murder or manslaughter. It is a national service available to families across the country. Places on this yearly programme are limited. Families who wish to be considered will be visited at home and/ or meet with staff at our office in Cheltenham and together a decision will be made about if the residential group would be helpful at this particular time.
About the group
This group is designed to support the whole family. The majority of the weekend is divided into a children’s group and a parent’s group at separate venues, with families coming together again on the Sunday afternoon.
The weekend will offer an opportunity for both parents and children who are bereaved by murder or manslaughter to meet others in a similar situation. It will also provide opportunities for children and adults to think about and talk – in a safe and supportive environment – about the person in their family who died as well as the circumstances of their death. It is also a chance to share and understand thoughts and feelings and to explore positive strategies for coping. Throughout the group we focus on positive ways of group members supporting themselves and each other.
Having fun is also a very important part of the weekend, especially for children and young people. The weekend includes a range of physical and fun activities, which support strong and lasting friendships between the young people and between adults.
The aims of the group are:
- Decrease sense of isolation and increase self-esteem through meeting others who are similarly bereaved.
- Find ways to remember the person who died, not just how they died.
- Create the opportunity for children and families to share their story with others who have had similar experiences.
- Talk about the death and the specific circumstances of the murder in a safe and accepting environment.
- Create the opportunity to acknowledge and express feelings and thoughts and to specifically consider the trauma associated with a death through murder or manslaughter.
- Explore positive strategies for coping with distress, fears and difficulties and consider personal resources and ways of facing the future with hope.
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