Grief & Loss

Have you experienced loss?

Join a facilitated group session for children or adults.


Have you experienced loss?

Oceans Grief and Loss programme is a peer support programme developed to support people of all ages. We have a children's programme that runs for an hour a week over eight weeks; a teenage programme that uses six 80-minute sessions; and a programme to support to adults over six weeks with two-hour sessions.

Participants learn to talk about their experience of grief and they learn they are not the only ones experiencing these emotions. Our programme facilitates a process in which people share with each other in a supportive environment helpful ways to live with their losses.

Groups are made up of no more than six people and are supported through the programme by two trained and caring facilitators.

Grief & Loss Peer Support

OCEANS is a Grief and Loss Programme

It provides an opportunity for people who are missing someone in their lives to:

  • Share and learn from others experiencing a similar loss.
  • Experience and learn from the programme activities developed to assist people to cope with loss and change in their lives.
  • Be supported by caring and trained Facilitators who are experienced in delivering the OCEANS Programme.
  • People experiencing the pain of loss or separation from someone they love.

Who is Oceans for?

  • Those who have had someone significant in their life die. (eg. a parent, child, or spouse)
  • Someone who has lost a really important friend through death or family separation.
  • When you have lost someone you love but have never really mourned.
  • A person who is living with a foster family and misses their birth parent/s.
  • If you are missing someone in your family due to separation, divorce, or imprisonment.

The OCEANS Programme is based on the therapeutic model, the Continuing Bonds Model of Grief and Loss.

Feedback from Past Participants

(there are so many great comments but these are a summary):

"Not as angry and talks about his feelings"

"Super helpful - although he hasn't told me about it - his demeanour has changed"

"I am more happy"

"I am a bit more confident and happy"

"Has been good to talk to someone outside the situation"

"Realising there are more people in her situation"

"I feel more open and honest"

"I feel braver"

"Can now talk about mum and dad not being together and is so much happier and braver"

"We had fun and it helps"

"It has been awesome and we have noticed big changes"

"Felt able to be real, share and be safe"

Oceans Grief and Loss Course Outline

Our programme follows a general pattern that you will find with most Grief and Loss peer support programmes. We use a Solution Focused approach that amplifies the strengths and coping skills that each member brings to the group. We take time in the early sessions to connect with each other, build trust within the group and discuss the individual best hopes from being part of the group. We talk about our feelings, in particular, the emotions associated with grief and helpful ways to live with our loss/es. This builds up to the point of telling our story of loss and the memories related to their missing person. After this, we talk about change and the strengths we possess to live with the changes associated with our grief and the people and things around us that will support us in the future.

This is a well-supported journey that we can celebrate at the end to have been part of each other's life and story.

Oceans Programme

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Child Enrolment (u18)


Adult Enrolment

Kia ora, I'm Alexia Bensemann

Administrator, Counsellor and Oceans Coordinator

I was born in Hamilton and have lived most of my life in Timaru. Over the years I have enjoyed working and volunteering in the community in a variety of differing aspects from the Timaru District Choir, Youth groups and the local Timaru Bible Society action group.

I work in Timaru as a private practice Counsellor and a store manager at the Christian Superstore Timaru.

Since being trained in 2015 I have been involved in facilitating and co-ordinating courses for children, teens and adults. Under Anglican Care I also present workshops exploring and discussing a variety of topics from anxiety, fear, identity and exploring boundaries.