By Joan Hermann, American Cancer Society
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Additional resources for Cancer Support Groups: A Guide for Facilitators
A social worker and a recreational therapist). • Use therapeutic play, like drawing or working with clay, to foster expression through activities rather than verbalization. • Keep abreast of the nuances of current treatment modalities. This includes knowing what children experience with treatment procedures, along with the expected side effects of drugs, radiation therapy, etc. • Limit the group cycle to two to four sessions. • Keep the groups goal-oriented, well structured, and directed. The structure should not be so rigid that it inhibits the natural spontaneity of children, however.
3. Vugia HD. Support groups in oncology: building hope through the human bond. J Psychosocial Oncol. 1991;9:89-107. Group Leadership/Facilitation 47 4 Specialized Groups This chapter examines support groups that are formed to help people who have something specific in common. Specialized support groups are created to address concerns, needs, and problems that certain people share, such as bereavement or childhood cancer. Some people have such specialized needs that they are unable to relate to other members of a generic support group.
Keep the groups goal-oriented, well structured, and directed. The structure should not be so rigid that it inhibits the natural spontaneity of children, however. Laughter, activity, and fun usually characterize groups for children. The facilitator(s) should have plans for each session and a general idea of the desired goals. , adjustment to school, peer interaction). Recommendations: • Groups can be open-ended or closed, depending on the availability of staff and the population to be served. Closed groups, meaning those with a predetermined number of sessions, may work better because of the labor intensity of recruiting children.