Being present to another’s pain as they express feelings and thoughts and share stories of lost loved ones is central to the grief process. These interactions with children and youth are the premise for relationship building, for repetition of the attachment cycle, for responding to the need for closeness, comfort, the recognition of feelings, and the affirmations of the reality of life experiences. More than anything, your presence during this process is a powerful healing force. Take this quick quiz to see how present you are to the youth you work with.
- Available and attentive during sessions?
- Supportive of the youth’s work to process feelings/thoughts through brief verbal responses/reflections?
- Comfortable with silence and expressions of grief?
- Able to use brief comments and/or questions that encourage youth to explore experiences and express feelings?
- Able to use self-disclosure about your own feelings and experiences in a manner that facilitates growth in the youth?