Spiritual Support Groups

Bereavement Spiritual Support Groups

Grief is not a pathology. It is a normal response to loss. Typical grief responses include loss of focus, sleep challenges, and a range of physical, emotional and spiritual reactions. Some spiritual frameworks may be reflections of the afterlife, on-going relationship to the person who died, considerations of a broader world view, loss of concrete faith, questioning God, or questioning previous assumptions about the nature of life.

We typically offer one Bereavement Spiritual Support Group (BSSG) during each season of the year. The sessions are facilitated by a Bay Area Jewish Healing Center rabbi and focus on tending to the grief of each participant. The groups are successively held in San Francisco, the Peninsula, and the North Bay (Marin/Santa Rosa).

A word about grief groups in general: while many group forms are offered, such as a drop in group or a group for like-losses such as spousal loss, or for like demographic grief groups for– as an example– only LGBTQ participants, the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center has learned over time that it best utilizes its resources and supports the grief journey in the community at large by offering the following framework:

Group size is no more than 8 individuals, runs 8 to 10 weeks, and meets once per week. The groups are “mixed loss,” meaning that each participant potentially comes to the group having experienced a different loss than someone else in the group: parental, partner, spousal, child, etc. No one is excluded from a group based on religious affiliation, any demographic such as class, race, or gender identity, or cause of death of the person is grieving.
No drop-ins are permitted as the same individuals remain with each other throughout the 8 to 10 weeks. Participants are asked that they miss no more than 1 session during that period. If a group is filled prior to the start date, we do offer a wait list. There is an intake process before each group so it is best to contact us as soon as possible prior to the start date.