Title: Setting Up and Facilitating Bereavement Support Groups. A practical guide.
Author: Dodie Graves
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Reviewer: Helen Reeves, clinical nurse manager, St Giles Walsall Hospice
What was it like?
Setting up and facilitating bereavement support groups is a book written by Dodie Graves who is a counselor with over 20 years worth of experience. The book provides guidance in setting up and facilitating a new bereavement support group. It is an honest book that highlights not only the highs and joys experienced by Dodie but also the pitfalls and lows that she has experienced through the years providing the reader with a balanced guide in setting up a new bereavement group.
What were the highlights?
For me the highlight of this book was the chapter on pitfalls along the way. This provided new facilitators guidance on problems that they may encounter along the way of setting up a new bereavement support group. It highlights the difficulties that Dodie has encountered in her groups ranging from participants forming a clique, overstepping boundaries and allowing a group to go down in their mood each week. By discussing the difficulties that Dodie has encountered provides the reader with key areas to look out for when setting up a new group. This forewarns the reader that setting up a new group may not always be easy and problems may be encountered.
Strengths & weaknesses:
This book provides clear guidance for people setting up a new bereavement support group. It outlines positives and negatives, highs and lows and things that have worked and haven’t worked. It provides answers while raising more questions but most of all it leaves the reader feeling supported if they were embarking on setting up a new bereavement support group in having a resource that they can make reference too. The book is easy to read and the chapters are well set out providing reference in the contents page to the sub sections of each chapter making it easier to find points of interest.
Who should read it?
This book would be suitable for new bereavement support groups and is written in such a fashion that it would benefit both the facilitator of the group and also the participants. The book would also be suitable for professionals that work within hospices or professionals that work within another health setting and have a keen interest in setting up and facilitating bereavement support groups.