The types of loss covered will not only be loss due to death, but may cover loss of a child whether that is by death, adoption or fostering or loss of a major relationship.  

Topics covered during the sessions include:

  • What is Loss and Conflicting Emotions

  • Being Stuck and The Journey Through

  • Facing the Reality of Loss and Starting to Let Go and Move On

  • Moving On - Turning Points



  • Women prisoners have faced aspects of their loss whatever that is for them and been able to talk about it

One of the big barriers to dealing with any type of loss in prison is the inability to trust anyone they might like to open up to and a fear of appearing weak or vulnerable to other prisoners and staff. Having a “safe” confidential space to talk with a small group of people that are going through the same thing, and beginning to look at their loss is extremely important in the process of moving forward.

  • Female offenders understand that there are common emotions that they might be feeling

Prison can be a very isolating place and prisoners will hide their emotions if possible. Understanding that other people share the same emotional turmoil can be very reassuring and help them to find a little peace in what they are facing.

  • Women in prison understand the concept of being “stuck” and how that can affect them and others around them

Because prisoners are not able to go through the same processes or rituals of loss as those “outside”, such as attending funerals, talking easily to family members, discussing with someone who knows them well how they are feeling etc., they will often get stuck at a certain stage of their loss and not be able to move forward. Realising that they are stuck can often help with the process of getting unstuck.

  • They understand they are on a journey and have begun the process of “letting go”

Knowing that you have begun a journey with help and with others creates an encouraging and supportive environment in which to address issues. Helping women to begin the letting go process in this environment opens up the possibility of change.

  • Attendees have learned how to get support in their situation

We spend time in talking about where they can get support should they need it in prison and on the outside. Help and support after the group ends is vital to the on-gong process of letting go and coping with loss. Addressing the issues around not wanting to appear vulnerable in prison or outside is a key to helping them ask for help in the future.

  • The women have tools they can use to help them in difficult times going forward

Gaining tools to cope with sad days empowers them to walk out their healing process in a way that works for them as an individual. Listening to how others cope in prison with loss is important to show them that they don’t have to go through their journey alone and that they can learn from others.

Feedback from the 'UNDERSTANDING LOSS' Courses

“A really insightful course and gives invaluable tools to use.”

“I want to thank you hugely as this course has helped me immensely and given me a new found knowledge on loss that I think I really needed.”

“I learnt that guilt is very normal and that letting go and moving on is also ok.”

“This course has helped me greatly, making me think and accept my loss.”

“I found the course very helpful, it brought my emotions to the surface and I was able to talk about how I feel rather than suppressing them. I would highly recommend the course to others.”