This didactic and experiential workshop will introduce doll making as a transformative art therapy technique, effective in the treatment of traumatic loss. This creative and imaginative approach to grief therapy is anchored in grief and bereavement theory: The Constructivist Theory of Meaning Making where grief narratives and identity reconstruction engage an essential question, “Who am I,” in the effort toward sense making and benefit finding (Thompson & Neimeyer, 2014) and Attachment-Informed Grief Therapy, (Kosminsky & Jordan, 2016) where the doll making process and concrete, transitional object support an exploration of relationship and the continuing bond with the deceased. Case studies will demonstrate the efficacy of this art therapy modality (Stance, 2014; Strouse, 2013) where the bereaved engage a non-verbal process that targets sensory-emotive-cognitive processing areas of the brain that are needed for psychological transformation,” (Hass-Cohen, 2015) resulting in a pliable human form, symbolic of themselves or a lost love. In this workshop form gives way to formlessness, which gives way to form again and the fabric of our lives are deconstructed and reconstructed in service to healing. The body is a “mirror where the secret world of the soul comes to expression. The body is a sacred threshold; and it deserves to be respected, minded, and understood. (Participants will experience) that place where the inner life and intimacy of souls longing to find an outer mirror, is met…a place where we are seen and felt and touched.” (O’Donohue, 1997)
This didactic, experiential workshop introduces doll making as a transformative art therapy technique, effective in the treatment of traumatic loss. Anchored in grief and bereavement theory we explore doll making through the lens of: The Constructivist Theory of Meaning Making, a vehicle for narrative and identity reconstruction, sense making, benefit finding and Attachment-Informed Grief Therapy, where creative process and concrete, transitional object support exploration of the continuing bond. Case studies demonstrate the efficacy of this art therapy modality as the bereaved engage a non-verbal process that “targets sensory-emotive-cognitive processing areas of the brain that are needed for psychological transformation.”
Three Learning Objectives:
- To discuss art based theoretical foundations that support the use of creative and expressive interventions with the bereaved.
- To examine doll making, an imaginative process that addresses the shattered “self,” within the framework of the Constructivist Theory of Meaning Making, identity reconstruction, sense making and benefit finding.
- To understand doll making through the lens of Attachment-informed Grief Therapy, where the process and tangible object are in service to the continuing bond with the deceased.
Artful Grief: Open Art Studio: The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors:
National Suicide Survivors Conference: Doll Making Workshop