I Wish I Could Have Told You So

A video-assisted training package.

By Christine Kalus and Peter Ardern.

Available from University of Portsmouth Enterprise Ltd, Town
Mount, Hampshire Terrace, Portsmouth PO1 2QD

£300 (plus VAT)

The package explores the concept of grief; how we can help
bereaved people and how we can support ourselves in this stressful
work. It grew out of a series of workshops run by the presenters
over four years, and they are to be commended for encompassing so
much material in clear, easily understandable ways which will
enable groups to quickly engage with the issues and with each

The three videos deal with basic issues in bereavement,
counselling skills with bereaved people (using a Rogerian model),
and the needs of counsellors for supervision and support. Each
video leads to a range of group exercises and case studies
contained in the manual. The role play which scores good and bad
counselling techniques is particularly useful. The checklist of
therapeutic techniques in video three is also helpful.

Two major disappointments should be highlighted. The videos only
interviewed Christian ministers on a range of issues. Valuable
though the comments are, we are not able to hear what religious
leaders from other faiths could contribute to this important

The package is dominated by a white European perspective. Only
one black person is interviewed. The whole issue of exploring
bereavement in our multi-cultural society is at stake here. That is
where part of my struggle as a teacher and trainer lies, and I was
disappointed this package lacked this crucial dimension.

Bernard Moss is a lecturer in social work, Staffordshire

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