Row over Child Grief Therapy

By Weekes, Derek | Birmingham Evening Mail (England), May 17, 1999 | Go to article overview

Row over Child Grief Therapy


Weekes, Derek, Birmingham Evening Mail (England)


BIRMINGHAM bereavement experts have criticised a report that claimed that their work may not help grieving children.

Officials at Edward's Trust, which has helped the families of 600 children who have died, said children needed help to recover from the pain of losing sisters or brothers.

They spoke after Prof Richard Harrington, of the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, caused a storm of protest with his claim that counselling children who were grieving over the loss of parents or brothers and sisters may do them more harm than good.

Prof Harrington's report, in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, said that children were extremely resilient, and that those with good self-esteem and strong relationships with surviving family members got through bereavement surprisingly well.

But Steve Coomber, chief executive of the Edward's Trust, said: "When next you hear the phrase 'children are resilient' ask yourself what that means.

"Does it mean they will survive? We can introduce you to 14 families where they didn't - they took their own lives.

"A doctor referred a little lad to me who was experiencing traumatic nightmares, following the death of his sister. …

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