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Grief Self-Exploration House
Y’all know me, I’m always trying new things in my counseling office!! This week I did a new activity with my grief group kiddos and I think it went really well!! I read about the Grief Self-Exploration House activity on the The Tristesse Grief Center Blog. I changed one or two things but I love this lesson they created!
To start off I sat the students down with a blank piece of paper and asked them to draw a four story house. I then instructed them to draw a chimney, door, and flag on their house. I asked them to label each part of their house and walked them through step by step (see photo below for instructions on what to label).
|To download pdf version click here|
During this part of the lesson, my students were seriously horsing around. They were coloring, making fun of their silly houses, smacking each other with rulers, and laughing. There was LOTS and LOTS of laughing. I tried to “reign it in” but it was rough. I was literally sitting there thinking “add this to my list of counseling fails!” Then as I started looking around at their drawings, I realized they had some blank spaces. I assumed they weren’t listening to the instructions so I redirected them but they still had blank spaces!! I was losing my mind!! Then I remembered that humor is a coping tool and I realized they left those parts of their houses blank because they didn’t have an answer.
Once everyone’s house was complete (or as complete as it was going to get), I told them that we were going to start sharing our houses. I asked where they wanted to start and they said the foundation. And in that second they suddenly calmed down and “got serious” as I like to say. They stopped joking, stopped laughing, and just started really sharing what they’d written down. I told them that if they left a part of their house blank that was okay and we could talk about why that section was so hard for them. It was a great activity!! We had some great discussions about the grief cycle, coping tools, difficult emotions, and why people search for the good during difficult times. I’ll definitely be doing this activity again in the future!!
To learn more about my FREE grief group curriculum click here.
Update November 2020: Unfortunately I no longer blog about my counseling adventures/experiences. However, I know these posts are a huge resource to others so I’ve kept all of my old counseling posts on this page for your use. Enjoy!!