Grieving together

Training grieving together

Getting over the loss of a parent, partner, sister, or brother can be a daunting task. Grief and loss can also be experienced in the context of health issues, being away from your homeland or loss of future perspective. Students who deal with a loss can benefit from extra attention to cope with their situation.

We offer students a safe space to grieve by creating a student support group, led by two professional trainers, who have both experienced loss themselves. Students will realize that they are not alone in this process and will find support from their fellow students, who are in a similar situation. We will make use of creative techniques, to also use our body and our senses in dealing with grief and loss.

Aim of the training

Grief is a ‘normal’ response to experiencing loss and finding support in a small group setting can make the process more manageable. In this training, you will get a better understanding of the process of grieving and how this applies to your own situation. Psychological theories and insights on grief and loss will be combined with creative assignments, so you learn how to connect the mind and the heart in your individual grief process. We create a safe space for you to give room to your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a light and non-judgmental way.

Set-up of the training

In this training, we will cover the following topics:

  • Meeting 1 – Emotions & grief
  • Meeting 2 – Your body & grief
  • Meeting 3 – Asking for help & grief
  • Meeting 4 – Giving meaning & grief
  • Meeting 5 – Resilience, hope and comfort   

The training will consist of 5 meetings, which will take place every two weeks. We expect you to work on the (voluntary) homework assignments in between the meetings. Before the start of the training, you will be invited for a short individual intake with the two trainers, so you can share your individual story before the start of the training itself.

Student Experiences

This training is life changing: it gives you strength for now and for the future. I recommend this training to anyone who is experiencing a loss. You can learn about your body and how it can react to grief, based on scientific research. At the same time, you can see and experience how art and creativity could be a way to express your grief.

- Elena 

It isn’t always easy to open up about your grief -especially to strangers. Yet, this is what I did at the Grief Training at Tilburg University. Ellen and Gerdien’s professionalism, compassion and creativity helped me in coming to terms with such a difficult period in my life. Sad as it is, it helps greatly when you have the support of other students

who know exactly what you’re going through. I would recommend this safe space and training for anyone going through such traumatic period.

- Olga 

Working method

The training consists of 5 meetings of 1.5 hours each in a small group setting (4 – 10 participants). Participants are expected to attend each session. During the meetings, materials will be provided to work on the creative assignments.

Training information in short

Target groupAll students, registered at Tilburg University (any study phase)
Duration5 sessions of 1.5 hours each on October 26 , November 9 and 23 and December 7 and 19, 2023. Time: 15:45 - 17:30. 
Where?On campus, Zwijsen Building (Building Z)
TrainersEllen Dreezens (psychologist) and Gerdien Wolthaus Paauw (photographer)
CostsFree of charge
Number of participantsAt least 4, no more than 10
Language of instructionEnglish


The training group, which starts on 26 October, is now open for registrations. The online intakes for this training group will take place on 27 September and 23 October between 10am and 12noon. An online intake will have a duration of 20 minutes and it gives you the opportunity to e-meet the two trainers and share your personal story and motivation for this training.  If you are not available for the next training group (start: 26 Oct),  but wish to take part in future editions of this training, please send an e-mail to the course coordinator, Ms. Zarrea Plaisier.  E-mail: