the Refuge

The art of Self discovery...Creativity, Healing and Spirituality

Sharon's Blog

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Grief and the Expressive Arts / ADEC 2015

Posted by attherefuge on April 13, 2015 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I spent last week in San Antonio, Texas at the Association for Death Education and Counseling Conference. I was honored to be a co-presenter of an all day pre-conference workshop - Grief and the Expressive Arts. Robert Neimeyer and Barbara Thompson, leading experts in the field, organized this professional offering and asked me to be a part of it.  It was an honor and privilege to share the stage with them. My piece - "Collage and Beyond" - was an opportunity to share my story and facilitate a collage experience. I was deeply touch by those who took the time to express their gratitude.... for the creative process opened them, in the short time we were together. I will remember the hospital Chaplin who asked to sit with me at lunch. He wanted to talk about his collage experience as it related to his work.  He imagined himself sitting in a waiting room with a family, silently grieving. He imagined collage as a healing tool - for simple pieces of torn paper, glued down become a refuge and safe place for expressing deep emotion.  I am forever changed by these experiences, these opportunities to share Artful continue to find meaning in the face of Kristin's suicide, now almost fourteen years past.  

Crystallizing Grief

Posted by attherefuge on February 17, 2015 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I was home because of the snow. I had enough to do to keep me busy all day yet managed to give myself what I really wanted...some hours exploring and creating. I have continued on my healing journey - which did not end with Artful Grief's publication in 2013 - it has just evolved over time and includes both collage and paint. Rebekah Near says, "The shaping of experiences through imagination allows the client/ artist to receive gifts from the emerging creations. The act of creating crystallizes a client's grief and allows him or her to see it in a new light." Neimeyer, R.A. (2012) Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved. New York: Routledge. I remembered reading this today as I "played" in my studio, for life continues and my creative process allows me to be with it in a new light.