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Module 4: Responding to Suffering and Bereavement

The Experience of the Child Approaching the End of Life


 Facilitator's Guide Download PDF  PowerPoint Download PowerPoint

This seminar focuses on the experience of children coping with life-threatening conditions, particularly in regard to their apprehension of the prospect of their own deaths. Through the use of selected artwork and writing selections, children's awareness and ways of coping with these realities will be examined. Attention will be given to the range of variables that shape the experience and awareness of the child. Participants will address the question of how well these realities are being addressed in their own institutions, and discuss strategies for intervention.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the range of variables that shape the child's understanding and experience of illness and death.
  • Explore the meaning of children's experience as expressed in artwork and writing.
  • Identify several expressive techniques that can be used with children by health care as a way of accessing children's experience.
  • Discuss how well their own institutions are doing in responding to the emotional and spiritual needs of children as they approach death.

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