A man grieving

Grief and the Healing Arts

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4 Lessons

This course begins in mid-March 2019.

Facilitated by Gail Henson, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Communication at Bellarmine University, Current civic volunteer with refugees and immigrants and Hosparus.


“With sighs and groans too deep for words”:  sometimes the Spirit of God moves in us wordlessly, particularly as we or those whom we serve wrestle with grief.  This seminar will look at ways that the arts can be effective in addressing grief.  As Sandra Bertman wrote in Grief and the Healing Arts,

“When we practitioners engage in the arts as initiators or observers, our openness to clients’ creative acts is often catalyst enough to enable grieving, to stimulate the search for meaning, and to initiate change—or at least negotiate a truce with the status quo.  With the mediation of the arts–poetry, drawing, psychodrama, music and so forth, we and our clients become involved … in heightened identification, catharsis, and insight … arts can “refresh, inspire, remind, and upon occasion, to jolt.”

The learning outcomes for this seminar are:

  1. To define dimensions of grief observed in our work.
  2. To examine ways art, music, and literature can be useful in serving those experiencing grief.
  3. To apply this learning to our work.