Grief Counseling for Pre-Teens

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Bereavement help for 11 year old

Nov 2010

Hello, a friend of mine lost her 17 yo on in a freak accident last month. She is seeking support for her remaining son who is 11. Does anyone know of a gifted counselor or group in San Francisco that could help this family deal with their loss? She is having difficulty finding someone. Thanks.

Pass along the contact info for Circle of Care in Oakland. 510-531-7551

We are a community based grief and loss support program for children and families. We offer evening support groups for children and caregivers as well as individual and family counseling. Our mission is to support grieving children and we have been doing so for almost 30 years.

A newer program in the City you might also pass on the info for is Josie's Place. I don't know specifically what programs they have up and runing but they are also a grief support provider for kids. 415-513-6343 Grief and Loss provider

Grief support for 10-year-old - father's suicide

October 2007

I am looking for a grief support group in or near Berkeley. My daughters father committed suicide two weeks ago. We have been separated for five years but were on good terms. My daughter is 10. I called suicide prevention but they don't deal with grief. I have called many numbers and a: got no return call (800)260-0094 b: number out of service c: told suicide is too specific. We are having a hard time due to the violence of his death. I am waiting for my daughters school to refer a psychologist but am interested in a group of others who have this unfortunate experience. Alta Bates refered Pathways but haven't been able to get through yet. I keep calling numbers that are refered and then they refer and on only to be told finally that they don't deal with suicide or better yet they do but in Los Angeles. Does anyone have RECENT experience and phone numbers? Having a hard time

Sutter VNA & Hospice in Emeryville has a number of bereavement support groups. I looked on their website, but didn't see any groups for children. Perhaps they would have a referral for you. Also, Jewish Family & Children's Services in Berkeley may have a good referral. Have you considered family or child counseling in the interim until you find a support group for your daughter? Wishing you healing.

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Try contacting the Bereavement Counselor at Zen Hospice Project. I'm sure she'll be about to refer you to a kid's group. When I volunteered there we had a kid's group meet in the guest house, but I don't think they still run that program. Jennifer

I am so sorry to hear about your and your daughter's loss. My husband died about a year ago, and I wondered how to help my two kids (then 7 and 4) deal with their grief and loss. I found a counselor who was experienced in grief counseling for children, and got the kids and I enrolled in a support group. I strongly recommend doing both individual and group.

I felt very fortunate to find the East Bay Agency for Children's Circle of Care program. They conduct free biweekly support groups for families who have experienced a loss. It was good for my kids to be exposed to others who had also been through a loss. A 10-year-old would have been right within the ages covered. They had kids from around 4 through 11 or 12 as I recall. I, too, found it really helpful to talk to other parents about the experience of grieving with kids. They meet in the evenings and serve pizza, and do ask for contributions to defray the food cost. They conducted the children's and parents' sessions concurrently. They are located in Oakland, and many Berkeley families participate. Here is a link:

My other thought is to contact hospices in the Berkeley area. They also often provide family grief support groups (there is one in Dublin that I am aware of (Hope Hospice).

I don't know if you have a counselor for your daughter, but I also highly recommend Jan Dombrower, but she is in Hayward (510) 537-8630) and that might be a bit far for you. Grief counseling for children is one of her specialties, and she was very helpful to me and my children after their loss. A couple nice things she did for them: worked with them to create ''memory'' boxes where they could store small items that remind them of their dad. And one day they decorated helium balloons for their dad and then released them into the sky.

Again, my deepest sympathies. Ellen

Call Circle of Care , 510-531-7551 in Oakland. They have really wonderful support groups for familes who have experienced the death of a parent. There are usually other kids in the groups who have had a parent die of suicide - which helps tremendously. You'll have to do a brief phone interview, and then meet with a counselor. Groups are on weeknight evenings, in Oakland near the Mormon temple. Can't reccomend Circle of Care highly enough. good luck