Seasons for Growth
Education for loss, change and grief
Seasons for Growth is an education program for children, young people or adults who have experienced significant change or loss. It is led by trained Companions and can be run in schools, parishes and community and health care settings.
Seasons for Growth is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and valuable part of life. It examines the impact of changes such as death, separation, divorce, and natural disaster upon our lives, and explores how we can learn to live with and grow from these experiences.
The core intentions of the program are the development of resilience and emotional literacy to promote social and emotional wellbeing. The program is educational in nature and does not provide therapy.
CatholicCare, in partnership with Good Grief (an agency of the Sisters of St Joseph), delivers training for teachers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals who wish to become Companions for the Seasons for Growth program.
Who is Seasons for Growth for?
The children’s program is for small groups of children aged 6-18 years of age who work with a trained adult ‘Companion’ or facilitator. The Companion supports children to learn new ways to share, think about and respond to change and loss in their lives.
The adult’s program also offers grief support and education in a small group setting. A Companion supports adults to share and value their memories and see grief as a normal response to loss and change.
Train to be a Companion
Companions are the people who lead Seasons for Growth peer groups. Their role is not that of a teacher or therapist. They guide, lead and accompany people through the program.
A Companion can be a teacher, psychologist, nurse, counsellor, chaplain, social worker, or someone who wants to offer the program to their community. All Companions must have a background check and be endorsed by their employer or an approved agency, such as a school, neighbourhood centre or parish. Companions who work with children must have a police check.
An effective Companion is someone who can:
- communicate well
- deal with their own feelings around loss and grief
- facilitate discussion
- listen effectively
- relate well to the age group they work with
- understand child protection procedures
- use humour
Companions must undertake a 2-day training course in order to run a program.
This training teaches Companions about:
- the possibilities and limitations of their role
- the skills and techniques to implement the program
- the theory and principles of the program
Training to become a Companion costs $650, which includes two days of training, a Companion manual and a copy of all journals.
To register for training, visit the Good Grief website.