Seasons for Growth was written by Dr Anne P Graham PhD in collaboration with education, health and welfare professionals. Since its launch in 1996, the programme has reached thousands of children and young people, as well as adults, in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and Peru.
Aimed at young people aged 6-18 years, Seasons for Growth is an 8 week school and community based program. Using a set of well-crafted resources and a trained, accredited Companion (a teacher, chaplain, guidance counselor or social worker in schools) who facilitates small peer groups, the programme provides a safe and creative way to explore feelings, memories, loss and grief. Peer support is a key element of the program and confidentiality is strongly emphasised.
Achieving resilience and new hope
The programme is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and valuable part of life. We examine the impact of changes such as death, separation, divorce, illness, natural disasters and many other losses upon our lives and explore how we can learn to live with and grow from these experiences.
The core intentions of this programme are the development of resilience and emotional literacy to promote social and emotional wellbeing. The programme is educational in nature and does not provide therapy. We use the imagery of the four seasons to illustrate that grief is cyclical, not a linear journey with a clear end.
Through this programme, we recognize the innate dignity of every human being, the value of each person’s unique experience and the importance of building networks of support.
During the programme, the Companion assists the young people to:
- learn about the effects of change in their lives and how it can be accompanied by a sense of loss
- understand it is normal to experience a range of emotions because of a loss
- develop new skills and strategies to cope with feelings and other grief reactions
- appreciate and nurture personal strengths and gifts
A comfortable, safe environment is critical to this programme. Companions are provided with the appropriate space by the school or agency where the programme is to take place.
Seasons for Growth can help your child build their understanding, communication, decision making and problem solving skills as part of a supportive peer group. Your child will learn that they are not alone in dealing with the effects of change, loss and grief.
Peer support programme for:
Peer support programme for:
“I would just like to thank you for putting this program in place and allowing the children access to it. My son really enjoyed the sessions and I am very grateful for the help and support he has been given.”
“Love and concern for these young people nurtured the beginnings of this extraordinarily successful programme which has grown in influence to become all-embracing and non-exclusive, reaching out to all in need.”
Dr John Yu (Patron)
International Adviserty Council of UNSW Asia (Singapore)
“An innovative and sensitive programme that provides young people with a solid framework to deal with loss in their lives. The Seasons for Growth programme is an absolute necessity as part of the education of young people and I give it my strongest possible endorsement.”
Professor Michael Carr-Gregg
Founder of CanTeen Education and Training Unit Centre for Adolescent Health
“If there ever was a time when a resource such as this was needed, now is such a time. The author has crafted a skilful and sensitive set of resources which should enable a broad range of young people and their families and friends to deal with some of the difficulties that life places before us. It is also a valuable resource for those who work with young people to better do their job.”
Victor Storm (Faculty Child and Adult Psychiatry)
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
“I have seen tangible evidence that the programme works through helping children develop strategies for handling grief in their lives.”
Mr Paul Burnett
Principal, St Therese’s School (Aust)