Pilot evaluation of a group therapy program for children bereaved by suicide
Daigle, M.S. & Labelle, R.J.
Background: Thousands of children are bereaved each year by suicide, yet there exists very little literature specifically on the psychological care, programs, and interventions available to help them. Aims: (1) To build and validate theoretical models for the Group Therapy Program for Children Bereaved by Suicide (PCBS); (2) to test these models in a preliminary evaluation. Methods: In the first part, we built theoretical models, which were then validated by scientists and clinicians. In the second part, the sessions of the PCBS were observed and rated. The participating children were tested pre- and postprogram. Results: Positive changes were observed in the participating children in terms of basic safety, realistic understanding and useful knowledge, inappropriate behaviors, physical and psychological symptoms, child-parent and child-child communication, capacity for social and affective reinvestment, actualization of new models of self and the world, self-esteem, awareness and use of tools, cognitive, verbal, written and drawing abilities, cognitive dissonance, ambivalence, antagonism, and isolation. Conclusions: The changes reported in the bereaved children show that the PCBS has some efficacy.