PARENT SUPPORT GROUP
SUPPORTING PARENTS WITH CHILDREN WHO ARE IMPACTED BY CANCER
About this program
This program is an opportunity for parents who are experiencing similar difficulties relating to cancer to come together and share their experience. Often parents feel the need to stay strong for their children and may lack the space and opportunity to be able to openly share their fears, sadness, anger and grief. This program includes skills training for parents to implement therapeutic play sessions with their children at home as a way to support children through their grief. Even in the most stressful situations, children can still experience the pleasure of play. Through play children are able to feel in control when life circumstances are out of their control.
Who this program is designed for
The program was developed to support parents who have children between the ages of 2-12 years who are impacted by cancer. This includes having a child diagnosed with cancer, having a spouse diagnosed with cancer, being diagnosed with cancer or a significant other in your child's life diagnosed with cancer.
How this program works
The program will run over 8 consecutive weeks, with each session lasting two hours. Sessions will take place in a small group settings (maximum 10 people) in a warm and welcoming environment.
A new topic will be introduced each week, with relevant experiential components that look specifically at how to support your child through the medium of play to cope with their experience. A significant portion of each session will also include open discussion among the group for parents to share about their own grief and challenges.
Program components include:
- Fundamental play therapy skills
- Role Plays
- Boundaries and limit setting
- Practicalities of setting up play sessions at home
- Self-care for parents
- Open dialogue and group sharing
Through these specifically chosen experiential components parents learn to convey acceptance, empathy, and encouragement toward their children as they express their inner world.
Having a child with cancer or supporting your child when you or someone in their life has cancer is challenging and often overwhelming. Parents can feel unsure how much to share with their children and wish to spare them from feeling sad and afraid. Children often demonstrate their difficulty in adjusting through behaviours such as bedwetting or changes in their sleeping or eating patterns. By learning play therapy skills parents can create a safe environment for their children to express what is often not possible for them to articulate. This program provides parents with a safe environment where they can share their challenges, fears and emotional experiences with others who are going through a similar experience. Throughout the group parents will feel supported, validated and encouraged.
For more information on the benefits of Play Therapy, please refer to the following articles written by Diane McGeachy- Play Therapy and Parent Coaching Program.
B. Psychology, MA. Counselling
Psychotherapist and Counsellor