CREATIVE GRIEF COUNSELING
If you are navigating the loss of a loved one or that of a significant life change (eg; divorce, loss of job/business, miscarriage, birthmother loss, loss of a dream, or loss of a beloved pet) and finding you are caught under the waves of grief and in need of a life preserver to help you find your way through the storm, then creative grief counseling may be a solution to finding ways to heal and reorient to life after loss.
The journey of grief is deeply personal and experienced in unique ways due to one’s own life story and previous experiences with loss. It is easy to get stuck in one of the tasks of mourning due to the intensity of feelings that the grief brings forth. While there are the traditional stages of grief, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression & acceptance, it is rarely a simple linear progression. Processing the feelings and expressing the grief through creative rituals to honor the loss can be a way of transforming the experience and healing. There is often a need to restore balance in the dimensions of one’s body/physical, emotions, and on a spiritual level. There is often an experience of losing a part of oneself in the loss and over time there may emerge a new internal reorganization and adjustment to life. As the reality of the loss is accepted and integrated into one’s heart and experience, the Sunlight of the Spirit can be felt again.
In this type of grief counseling, there is the use of metaphor to help process the loss and express the grief. There are various expressive arts invitations that may be useful to help in this process including creative rituals (eg; specific anniversary dates or holidays that highlight the loss where the grief re-surfaces more acutely). Rituals such as journaling, meditation, and affirmations can also be very valuable to this journey. As a trained SoulCollage® Facilitator, adding this creative tool may be a useful and valuable way to walk through one’s journey of grief in a visual way to externalize what is held within. To learn more about SoulCollage® you may visit the website www.soulcollage.com.
Personally, what has supported me in moving through my own deep losses in my journey has been a compassionate witness in the therapy relationship and the creative arts. I have found there can be gifts that emerge through the healing work of grief which is then carried with me in how I orient to myself, others, and the world. Finding meaning and purpose to the loss can be an empowering way to gradually move forward. In this rebuilding of one’s world, “Grieving is an act of affirming or reconstructing a personal world of meaning that has been challenged by loss…It requires us to reconstruct a world that again “makes sense”…that restores a semblance of meaning, direction, and interpretability to a life that is forever transformed”. Robert Neimeyer.