Art Therapy and Bereavement
     Through engaging in the creative process, grieving children, teens and families can begin to make meaning out of their loss and enter into a process of healing and transformation.  Making art helps individuals both express and contain the complex and sometimes overwhelming emotions of grief.  Visual expression can help in exploring and understanding grief in a way not limited by words.  It provides a way of communicating that can often more fully express the complexities of a loss.  
     The benefits of the use of art in bereavement support:

       Hastens the grief process & promotes coping skills
       Remember & commemorate the deceased
       Creation of healing rituals
       Helps organize & regain sense of containment
       Promotes exploration & expression of feelings
       Encourages communication and discussion
       Facilitates cathartic effect and kinesthetic release
       Encourages self-awareness & healing
       Final product and permanence (Hill, M. 2003)
    
     Gladding, S. & Newsome, D.  (2003). Art in counseling. In C. Malchiodi (Ed.), Handbook of art therapy.  (pp. 243-253). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
     Hill, M. ( 2003). Healing grief through art: Art therapy bereavement group workshops.  Obtained from http://drawntogether.com/healing.htm8/26/2003.





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