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Thu, Sep 23


Online Event

Leading Grief Groups Virtually and in Person with System Involved Youth

Shoshana Phoenixx

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Leading Grief Groups Virtually and in Person with System Involved Youth
Leading Grief Groups Virtually and in Person with System Involved Youth

Time & Location

Sep 23, 2021, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Online Event

About the Event

Shoshana Phoenixx

Training Description

The COVID 19 pandemic has increased both the need for grief support for system involved youth and their families, and the need to develop new approaches for grief support work. For those used to delivering grief support in person, Zoom meetings have necessitated new approaches for engaging system involved youth in grief support activities, developing rapport, and utilizing nonverbal cues. This session will teach training participants how to facilitate grief groups for system-involved youth, with a particular focus on strategies and techniques for facilitating online groups conducted via Zoom.

Learning Objective

  • Learn how to identify and leverage their personal strengths and capabilities to enhance their grief support work with system involved youth and families
  • Develop strategies for designing, structuring and facilitating grief groups, including strategies for identifying and accommodating the unique needs and contexts of system involved group members
  • Explore ways to use Zoom features and functions to promote engagement in group discussions, build rapport, and lead groups through grief activities


9:30am-10:15am Instructor and Group introduces selves and discuss philosophies of grief as well as positive and negative experiences with engaging system involved youth with the topic of grief

10:15am-11:15am Teaching: Learn to identify and recognize your fears, concerns, and positive skill sets in group facilitation. Review instructor’s outline for creating the structure for a group including how to design a multi session theme, identify potential participants for group parity, ascertain participants interest and developmental capacity to access their grief needs, devise reachable goals, and employ steps to setting your group up for success.

11:15am-12:00pm Small group activity: Using handout provided, follow the prompts and discuss a planning outline for running your grief group. Identify the unique needs of your system involved youth population, and brainstorm ways to manage your fears areas of concern and support needs.

12:00pm-12:30pm Large group process: Bring identified challenges back to problem solve together

12:30pm-1:00pm Teaching: Running the group itself. Designing group agreements and goals. Techniques for getting buy-in from system involved youth to each activity. Managing outcomes with flexible activities mixed with discussions

1:00pm-1:30pm  Lunch break (CEUs will not be issued for this time)

1:30pm-2:30pm  Teaching: Presentation of multiple activities and discussion prompts sorted by themes.

2:30pm-3:15pm  Large group practice:  Practice polling, chat functions, and screen sharing activities for promoting rapport and practicing virtual sharing with the group. Consider how these activities can be modified for in person groups.

3:15pm-4:15pm  Final questions, reflections and group appreciations ritual

4:15pm-4:30pm  Evaluations

Meet Our Trainer

“We can create together. We can heal together. We can mark the moments of ritual together. May the work of our hearts and hands speak together the truth of our lives.”

Shoshana has been working with communities and professional caregivers educating and training on the issues and challenges around progressive illness, trauma, death and bereavement for families for over 36 years. In that work she has supported people in many ways and forms as they experience illness, grief, healing, recovery, and transformation.

She began her grief and loss professional journey during the illness and death of both of her parents when she was a teenager. She subsequently served a residency in Berkeley to become an interfaith chaplain and now describes herself as “a Jewish chaplain, who works from an interfaith perspective”.

She has trained, counselled, and supported adults and children dealing with terminal illnesses, (and students/volunteers wanting to learn) using art modalities and non-traditional approaches

The thread that stitches together all the pieces of her work life is care, compassion and comfort for suffering people who find themselves outside the system of norms in American mainstream culture.

As a person who has lived outside those norms all her life, Mama Shoshana says with conviction, “We have our unconventional ways, and I am here to tell you that they are valid. There are many roads up this mountain called life, and we survive the unimaginable by stitching together all that we learn from one another.”

Shoshana has developed a range of learning interventions and activities including:

  • Developing an ethical will
  • Developing a "spiritual toolbox" for journeying through life's deepest challenges,
  • Bereavement training programs for social workers, care aides, case managers and paraprofessionals
  • Grief support programs for groups and teams
  • Needs assessment tool for anticipatory grief and loss in clients and families
  • Art-therapy based grief support for children

She is also the author of The Phoenixx Haggadah.

This course meets the qualifications for (6.5) BBS CEUs for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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