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Details & FAQs

 

 

What is the purpose of this program?

  • To initiate the step from survival mode to healing;

  • To dispel some societal misconceptions that hinder instead of help; 

  • To introduce healthy ways of integrating grief, making it easier to carry (building "grief muscles");

  • To offer tools to increase empowerment and resiliency; and 

  • To provide understanding social supports. 

What makes this different than other grief support programs? 

This program was created by a peer, certified grief specialist, and emerging mental health professional who understands first-hand the unique needs and issues people face after experiencing the loss of their person. Using a trauma-informed, holistic, positive approach, we cover a wide range of purposeful topics in a judgment-free environment. We address not only the loss of your person, but the secondary losses that occur over time. Self-care is essential while grieving, and this theme is incorporated throughout the program. Balancing the tough stuff with humor, therapeutic strategies are used to work through challenging themes. Additional local and national resources are also shared. Since this type of loss can be extremely isolating, the group format offers the opportunity to share stories, exchange ideas, and build lasting connections with others who understand. 

How soon after my loss should I sign up? 

While you can sign up for this program any time following your loss, it may be best to give yourself a few weeks to move through the initial shock. During this time it is important to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. These groups are also appropriate for those who are a few years post loss as secondary losses can become more prominent. 

Some Topics We Cover:

Understanding grief

Typical grief reactions

Self-care strategies

Journaling

Mind/body/spirit

Nervous system regulation

Rediscovering yourself

Milestones, holidays, etc.

Identifying social supports

Secondary losses

Linking objects

Continuing bonds

Humor

Meaning making

Unfinished business

Additional resources 

Regrets & guilt 

Love & forgiveness

Identity shifts

Patience 

Integration

How long is an ARROW grief support program? 

Each group is 10 consecutive weeks in duration. When there is a missed week due to scheduling conflicts with holidays and other special circumstances, it will be noted in the registration description. 

Where are the meetings located? Alden Mental Health Counseling on Broadway in Alden, NY, just outside of Lancaster.

 

Are drop-ins allowed to participate? 

No. These are "closed" groups, meaning only the participants who have registered for the program are admitted into the weekly sessions. 

How many other participants will there be in the group? 

Participation is limited to 8 people, not including the facilitator(s), to ensure an intimate environment where meaningful sharing can occur. 

What can I expect during the sessions? 

  • Each meeting is 90 minutes in duration 

  • The very first session will be focused on reviewing the group guidelines, an introduction to the journal we will be using for the program, and an opportunity for all to introduce themselves and share their stories of loss 

  • Each session: begins with a guided breathing exercise, includes some education, group discussions, and concludes with a brief journaling task to be completed between sessions (each session has a similar flow)

  • Sessions are topic focused and structured in a way that builds on content from the previous week

  • You are not obligated to share any details you are not comfortable sharing 

How do I get a journal for the program? 

You may purchase the journal, Death Sucks: A Journey of Life After Loss, ahead of time through Amazon for $10 each, or you can get a copy at the first meeting. If you like, you do not have to wait until the program starts to begin journaling.

What is the cost of the program? 

Given the unique nature of this program, there is a one-time registration fee of $160 for the 10 week program which includes the journal and can be paid by PayPal on the online registration form (contact Andrea directly for other methods of payment). If you already purchased the journal through Amazon, the registration fee is reduced to $150. If you are unable to afford the registration fee, please contact andrearowwebsite@gmail.com to discuss a partial or full fee waiver. 

 

What is the refund/cancellation policy? 

A full refund may be issued 72 hours prior to the start date of the group. After 72 hours, there is an option to transfer your registration funds to another program within one year, or to sponsor the registration for someone who is unable to afford it.  

Is it okay to miss a session? 

Although it is ideal to attend every session, it is understandable that life happens. Any handouts you missed that day will be saved and given to you upon your return. Please try to schedule any appointments around the dates and times of our sessions to avoid missing out on something important. Every session is valuable. Of course if you are ill, please stay home and pamper yourself.

Will these groups be depressing?

The death of a significant other is traumatic and already depressing! This group balances the tough stuff with humor, inspiration, and positive tools for learning to thrive post loss. Talking about topics that stir up uncomfortable emotions is never easy, but it is necessary to process what you're going through as a valuable step towards healing. You will be in a safe, compassionate environment with others who understand- ideal for healing trauma. As mentioned before, you are not obligated to share details you are uncomfortable sharing; however, it helps initiate healing and offers validation to others who identify with you which helps them, too. Of course there will be some tears, but there is also laughter and lightheartedness.  

Can I participate in the program more than once?

You may register again if it has been at least one year from the last time you participated. Your perspectives with grief will evolve and change over time, so participating at different timelines can offer new insights. However, any sooner than one year from your last participation may feel redundant. 

What other types of ARROW grief support programs are offered? 

Currently there is only a program for spouse/partner loss; however, more programs and separate workshops will be added in the future (young widowed parents, adolescents grieving a parent/guardian, etc.), and potentially virtual options as well. Please check back occasionally for more offerings.

Should I still see a mental health professional if I participate in the program? 

Participating in a support group is extremely valuable, but does not replace the benefits of working one on one with a counselor or therapist. If you are already working with a mental health professional, please let them know if you participate in this group. *Andrea is now accepting individual clients as a supervised counseling intern.*

What if I have other questions or concerns? 

Any additional questions can be directed to Andrea at andrearowwebsite@gmail.com.

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