Our TreeHouse is a safe place where families come together to hurt and to heal.
Grief can be an intensely isolating experience; Our TreeHouse is here so that no one grieves alone. When people come to Our TreeHouse, they feel comforted, connected and able to truly be themselves, no matter what they bring to the table.
At Our TreeHouse we believe that
- Grief is a natural reaction to loss for children and adults.
- Within each individual is the natural capacity to heal.
- The duration and intensity of grief are unique for each individual.
- Caring and acceptance assist in the healing process.
The first step in the process of joining our Support Groups is to meet with our Program Manager so we can learn about your needs.
We offer Family Night and Teen Night twice a month.
Family Night offers a supportive environment for children and adults to process their grief. Because we are a child-led program, each child is able to work through their grief at their own pace, engaging with the various “play stations” as they see fit, while their parent or caregiver has the option of meeting with their own support group.
Teen Night offers a peer-support group for teens to explore their feelings through facilitator led conversations and creative processes.
Our volunteer facilitators are trained to be with the children, teens and adults using astute awareness, reflective language and group facilitation skills.
What to Expect at Family Night
Family Night begins with a shared pizza dinner at 6:00 PM. This is a time to catch up with friends and settle in for the evening.
The children are divided into groups. While it is mandatory for each child’s guardian to stay on site during the program, it is not mandatory for them to attend the adult support group. Adults who do attend the support group often appreciate the opportunity to express their own grief and gain skills to support their grieving child.
At 6:30, our adult and children’s groups begin with an “opening circle,” a time to check in, participate in an activity and, if desired, talk about the person who died. After opening circle, the children have about 45 minutes of structured free time. We know that children express themselves through play, so we have various “play stations” for children to visit, depending on how they are feeling that night. Each room is designed for the various ways children express grief. When children feel the need to express themselves physically, they visit the Big Energy room, where they can hit a bean bag chair with a noodle or pound on the punching bag. When children want to share a story, they can visit the Puppet Theater and tell their story. When children want to read, write or have quiet time, they visit the Tranquility room. When children want to express non-verbally, they often go to the Lentil Tray room and create a scene. After free time, we go back our rooms for a short closing circle.
After closing circle, children, facilitators and adults all gather together for a quick end-of-the-night ritual at 8:00.
What to Expect at Teen Night
Teens are welcomed into Teen Night with a pizza dinner shared with friends and facilitators during “opening circle.” This is a time to check in and, if desired, to talk about the person who died. After opening circle, the teens may continue talking or they may choose to go the expressive area to work on a creative project. The night ends with a simple closing circle.
To apply for Family Night or Teen Night, contact us.
For more information, click here for our Frequently Asked Questions