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Sossin, K. (2011). Support Group II: An Evolving Approach: Reflections on Group Process in the Early Years. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 10(2):217-223.

(2011). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 10(2):217-223

Support Group II: An Evolving Approach: Reflections on Group Process in the Early Years

K. Mark Sossin, Ph.D.

In the Project for Mothers, Infants, and Young Children of September 11, 2001, one form of intervention was group work with mothers and young children whose husbands and fathers had died. Multiple therapists facilitated the group process. The evolving process of one group is described, including grief support, affect sharing, and emerging trust among mothers and therapists, manners of therapist collaboration, and children's developing social interactions and communications through play. Therapeutic listening in the group influenced the ways that the mothers attended to each other and, in turn, the ways that the mothers attended to their children. The importance of state-awareness on the part of therapists is underscored. Although personalities, histories, sorrows, coping strategies, child needs, parenting styles, and later experiences of romance were distinct, the group work fostered ways in which the lost husbands/fathers were held in mind by wives and children. Shared understanding of traumatic loss and the group process fostered self-reflection among the mothers and reflective parenting.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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