We are sharing some tools to support personal growth, relationship health, organizational development, and overall effectiveness for mission/aid workers. Hopefully you will find them to be creative, useful, and at times even fun. They are some of our favourites.
These items build upon the 12 tools for “Running Well and Resting Well” that we included as a chapter in Doing Member Care Well (2002). More tools and guidelines specifically for team building are included in our “Tools for Team Viability” article, in the member care book we edited in 1992.
“Cry when you want to, laugh when you can.”
Tear Soup is a tool to help people deal with grief and loss. It creatively tells the story of a person who is dealing with a major loss via the metaphor of making soup. Tear Soup is in three formats: book, DVD (17 minutes), and Power Point. The book is written simply with full-page illustrations to complement the many principles and “ingredients” described (also in Spanish). We have found that people from many backgrounds and both young and old are able to “savor” this story and easily apply it to their own soup making process. Tear Soup is available from Grief Watch: Resources for Bereaved Families and Professional Caregivers. See their web site for more materials including Grief Facts and Helpful Links.
We have used the book and DVD with mission/aid workers in different settings: supportive counseling with individuals; small group readings/discussions; group enactment where there is significant loss/transition. One example of the latter is when we used some of the concepts from the book and placed two large imaginary caldrons in the middle of the group in order to make what we call “group-soup.” In this case, the group made a large pot of tear group-soup and also a large pot of courage group-soup (to also focus on the positive choices/actions—the soup ingredients—that people had taken and would need to take). There are lots of creative and helpful ways to use the material in the book and the metaphor of soup making. Bon appetit!