Sailing Through: The Assessment of a Philippine Grief Support Program Using Bible-Based Lessons and Art Therapy

Abstract

The Sailing Through workshops began in 2018 by my father and I through the Christian Advocacy Reaching Everyone (CARE) Foundation, and first conducted exclusively for our church (International Churches of Christ Quezon City). These support groups address different life challenges such as grief, caregiving for terminally ill loved ones and mental health issues. They are composed of Bible-based lessons, art therapy or creative exercises for self-expression, and smaller subgroups for building more intimate, sincere relationships. Since last year, several opportunities have risen for us to share what we’ve learned with others. As we continue to share our experiences, more and more have expressed their interest to set up their own support groups and adapt our current model. But before we reach out to train others and conduct groups to help the community, we saw the need for a thorough assessment of the Grief Support Group (GSG) workshops. Through two focus group discussions consisting of short art-related activities, I interviewed four participants of 2018’s Grief Support Group and four participants from 2019’s Grief Support Group. Through thematic analysis, the results show that the overall experience of the participants fulfills the program’s objectives. The strengths of the workshop include teaching the importance of empathy, learning how to listen without judgment, and activities that encourage honoring the memory of those who have passed on. Some areas of improvement include the need for follow-up sessions post-GSG, the incorporation of journal-writing, addressing other forms of loss, and exploring other creative therapies.



Author Information
Alyssa Publico, University of the Philippines, Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2020
Stream: Mental Health

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