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An Expressive Arts Approach to Healing Loss and Grief: Working Across

the Spectrum of Loss with Individuals and Communities
Table of

Drawing on expertise in both expressive arts and grief counselling, this book highlights the use of expressive arts therapeutic methods in confronting and healing grief and bereavement. Establishing a link between these two approaches, it widens our understanding of loss and grief.

With personal and professional insight, Renzenbrink illuminates the healing and restorative power of creative arts therapies, as well as addressing the impact of communion with others and the role that expressive arts can play in community change. Covering a broad understanding of grief, the discussion incorporates migration and losing ones home, chronic illness and natural disasters, highlighting the breadth of types of loss and widening our perceptions of this. Grief specialists are given imaginative and nourishing tools to incorporate into their practice and better support their clients.

An invaluable resource to expand understanding of grief and explore the power of expressive arts to heal both communities and individuals.

Irene Renzenbrink is a qualified expressive arts therapist. She has worked as a social worker, with extensive experience in palliative care and bereavement support. In the last ten years, she has refocused on expressive arts therapy, completing a PhD in the topic.

Foreword Stephen K. Levine
Chapter 1 Historical and Theoretical Milestones in Understanding Loss, Grief and Trauma, Part I Standing on the shoulders of giants

Chapter 2 Historical and Theoretical Milestones in Understanding Loss, Grief and Trauma, Part II Paradigm Shifts and New Directions
Chapter 3 The Evolution of Expressive Arts Therapy
Chapter 4 The Healing Power of an Expressive Arts Approach
Chapter 5 So Many Little Dyings: Working Across the Spectrum of Loss
Chapter 6 Illuminating Loss and Grief through Poetry and Metaphor
Chapter 7 To Leave is to Die a Little: Loss of Home and Place
Chapter 8. On Death and Dying: The Wilder Shore of Illness
Chapter 9. Creative Responses to Disaster
Chapter 10. Repairing the World

A paradoxical, but unsurprising, display of how creative vitality springs forth from the most difficult conditions and inspires an embrace of life. Irene Renzenbrink presents compelling evidence of how art heals, gathered from throughout the world in an elegantly written and designed text that will persist as a hopeful guide. -- Shaun McNiff, author of Art as Medicine, Art Heals, Imagination in Action, and many other books
In this remarkable duet for the fields of grief and the expressive arts, with unfailing pertinence and heartfelt authenticity, Renzenbrink eloquently illustrates the healing potential of the creative imagination across the loss spectrum. Against a thorough and comprehensive backdrop of traditional and current grief theories, the author courageously shares the intimate details of her personal struggles with trauma in a most readable style. -- Sandra L. Bertman, PhD, FT, LCSW, Distinguished Professor Thanatology & Arts (Retd), National Center for Death Education

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