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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