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Icebreaker Ideas for Bereaavement Training



I am delivering bereavement support training to a group of 16 people.

I'd be grateful for any appropriate icebreaker ideas that you may have.

Thank you.

8 Responses

  1. Cup of coffee

    Give them a cup of decent coffee and a biscuit and they will be ready to go…no need for warming up.

  2. Kubler-Ross?

    If your using the Kubler-Ross Grief cycle to address this issue you could produce a list of separate cards which define each stage and ask the participants to place them into sequence. In this way you have a learner centred opening to the subject and an efficient and effective way of defining the process and learning how much they know about the process.

  3. Many thanks – yes, using E K

    Many thanks – yes, using E K-R cycle as well as other models so will use this idea throughout the 10 day programme.  I'm hopeing to use icebreakers/activities that 'fit' the topic though can 'break' the 'heaviness' that sometimes can come from dealing with this topic.

  4. Well being

    What about something that focuses on the well being of the attendees; for example your 'energising' sessions could focus on something like Mindfulness practice and each of the activities could focus on a different aspect of Mindfulness e.g. reflection, eating etc; making for a more holistic experience.

  5. Many thanks – yes, will

    Many thanks – yes, will definitely use this, too, because this weekend I am looking at client support systems and self care so it will work in really well to think of the 'self' also!

  6. Do you need an icebreaker?

    I wonder if, rather than an icebreaker, a short introductory activity to find out a bit about one another and begin to focus on the subject might suit better?

    You could pair them up and ask them to find out a bit about one another, what their job involves, why they have come on the course and so on and then, if they feel comfortable at this early stage, to talk about a loss they have suffered in their lives (not about a bereavement specifically or necessarily, but perhaps about something like a redundancy, relationship, being gazumped on a dream home or something like that) and to sum up their reactions in a few words.  And finally, what would have helped them cope with it better at the time? They could introduce themselves or their partner to the rest of the group, whichever seems the most appropriate

    This might be a bit risky but I think you would be surprised at how open people may be prepared to be on this particular course.

    Good luck.


  7. Word activity

    I have used this icebreaker before for difficult subjects and found that it can work well and may be of use to you.

    Print off the following words with a suitable picture on some paper.

    Happy, sad, excited, uninterested, indifferent, interested, anxious, annoyed, scared and love.

    Place these slides in different places in the room.

    Ask the participants to give you one word each (Examples I have had are: Manchester, dictatorship, football, puppies, canals) and write this word on the flip chart. Say that you are going to add in a word of your choice, which would be bereavement (or the subject of your workshop).

    Then read out one of the words and ask the participants to stand next to the picture which best describes how they feel about the word. You can then have a quick discussion about why your participants love Manchester and are sacred by puppies.

    Leave the title of your course to last and this will give you a good idea about how they are feeling about the subject and workshop. You can have a further conversation to understand where they are coming from and share their fears and concerns about the subject.

    This helps you to see the mood of your participants, help them to overcome any areas of anxiousness and allow you to know where to focus the time on the workshop so that the participants can get the best out of it.

    You can repeat this at the end of the course by just doing the subject of the course and seeing where the participants now stand. This gives you some good first level evaluation to see if the participants have changed their feelings towards the subject and I have found that they tend to stand by a more positive word.



  8. Icebreaker

    Working with youth undervthe same title i have used a few icebreakers.



    Give 8 persons number from 1-8.  MAke these numbers visual.  Place them in the following way on the floor in a group.




    the space (-) means that they can move at one at a time in a forward, back, left and right motion.  they discuss the movements by themselves.


    the purpose is to get them to make this position




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