What we do

Kyle's Korner is based on the successful Dougy Center model, which is used in over 100 children's bereavement centers across the country. This model's success is due to the combining of efforts from volunteers and professionals to provide group interventions, free of charge, for bereaved children, teens and their adult caregivers.

Activities structured around play, music, books and art help children and teens express and process feelings related to death they have experienced. Sessions with trained group facilitators give children, teens and adults the opportunity to express feelings and share concerns they may be unable to discuss anywhere else.

Children and teens come to bi-weekly sessions for 1 or 1.5 hours depending upon their age. During the children and teen's sessions, the parents or guardians meet in separate groups to discuss the impact of the loved one's death upon the family and learn how to help their chidren cope with their grief at home. Through this process, family bonds strengthen and mutual understanding deepens.

Kyle's Korner provides support groups in an innovative approach to non-pathological grief involving expression through play, art and sharing. The center's design includes specific rooms dedicated to certain play activities: A puppet and doll room for small children to act out their feelings, an art room for creative displays, and an activity room for teenagers to interact and share.

Kyle's Korner services are unique in that the focus is on the children's grief resolution and extends to surviving adult relatives or caregivers in order to support the child's healing process and the family's return to normal functioning. The support group sessions stimulate the child's progress in gaining an understanding of the following concepts:

  • Irreversibility Death is a permanent phenomenon from which there is no recovery or return.
  • Finality (nonfunctionality) Death is a state in which all life functions cease completely.
  • Inevitability (universality) Death is a natural phenomenon that no living being can escape indefinitely.
  • Causality (demystification) Death has specific and understandable causes.
Grief resolution involves achievement of the following tasks for both children and adults:
  1. Accepting the reality of the loss.
  2. Experiencing the pain of grief.
  3. Adjusting to an environment in which the deceased is missing.
  4. Withdrawing emotional energy and investing in new life goals.

Since the loss of a parent or sibling is pervasive, grieving is a constant part of a child's daily life until resolution is achieved. It is, therefore, important for home and school environments to be aware and understanding of the normal behaviors associated with a child's loss of a loved one through death. Grieving children frequently feel frightened, disoriented, angry, frustrated and guilty and suffer from sudden and severe loss of self-esteem. They are likely to resort to unreasonable levels of over-achievement or dismal non-performance, be subject to sudden physical and emotional outbursts, have frequent bouts of withdrawal and depression and indulge in denial of reality and fantasy regarding their loss. These behaviors, which can extend long after the actual death loss has occurred, can be unsettling in the classroom situation or meet with a low level of tolerance in the home where the parent may be intensely involved in his/her own grieving process and unable to reach out to support the child.

Kyle's Korner develops a more informed and supportive environment for the child's grief resolution through the following current supplemental activities:

  • Consultation with school administrators who are attempting to deal with a class or school tragedy
  • Information and referral services for those who need formal counseling or therapy
  • Educational workshops for community groups, parents, concerned organizations

Staffing

Qualified professionals and specially trained volunteers provide the direction and careful supervision for all sessions as group facilitators, greeters, monitors, and assistants.

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