The process of grieving has many stages and expressions that are personal for each individual. The time to heal is also unique and has its rhythm and purpose for those whose lives have been changed. There are intense emotions that take time to process and understand. This is where art therapy can be beneficial
Your friends at Miller Funeral Services know that this time of year can be especially hard. Sometimes, we need additional supports to move through the feelings of loss, and we believe art therapy may be one of the most beneficial. We are here to explain why it may be helpful for you.
What Is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a form of creative expression with the objective of therapeutic release of emotions. Through art, such as painting, pottery, drawing, and other mediums, the therapist instructs the participant in identifying symbolism and meaning. Through this, the individual can better identify what they are feeling and thinking, and at the same time, help to heal and recover from the emotional aspects of loss.
The Difficulties of Grief
Aside from feelings of loss and sadness, grief can be detrimental when it creates barriers to having a healthy, full life. Grief’s immediate challenge is in managing sometimes serious adverse or challenging emotions, such as deep depression and anger. Grief also interrupts the normal daily routine, and makes it hard to manage work, finances, and other basic living needs.
Grief can alter our interpersonal relationships, how we see the world, and our beliefs. This is why art therapy can be advantageous in identifying some of these aspects of grief in order to move through and heal.
Benefits of Art Therapy for Grief
Art therapy provides a good outlet for grief in a variety of ways. It is especially good for those who are not only dealing with sadness but also many other intense emotions, such as shame, anger, guilt, fear, and so on.
- Making meaning from the loss – Art therapy relies on metaphor and symbolism, which are both great tools in finder a deeper, soulful truth to loss.
- Getting to know oneself -– Another benefit is the opportunity to know oneself. It may be eye-opening to learn that you have changed and grown through the process of grieving and the upheaval of loss. In this way, you may experience a transformation of self.
- Honoring the deceased – When you lose someone close to you, art therapy can be another way to honor your loved one through remembrance. You create something that memorializes their memory.
- Expressing emotion – Art can help connect you to the emotions you are feeling and make sense of the stages of grief.
There is no one way to move through a significant loss of a cherished loved one. It is so personal and every person deals with grief differently and the timing of recovery varies. Art therapy can provide a vehicle for healing and self-expression, as well as a means in which to make sense of life and loss.
If we can answer any questions about art therapy and grief, please do not hesitate to call.