"This book is a rare find, one that truly does show us ways to use the healing arts to help grievers transcend loss. Every and any therapist or educator will gain so much of value here—from practical techniques to soaring theoretical insights. Grief and the Healing Arts is on its way to becoming a classic. It is a must have book."
—Ken Doka, Ph.D., Past President, Association for Death Education and Counseling
"It is important to realize how loss can lead into creativity and that this can, in its own way, be enormously healing. In the Hospice Movement we are continually assessing how even the dying can have creative moments. Some of the chapters in this book, for example that on Munch, give important messages for living as well as dying."
—Dame Cicely Saunders, OM., DBE., FRCP, Chairman, St. Christopher's Hospice
"Touching, stimulating, sensitive, challenging, creative—this book contains a rich mix from which I believe each of us can draw a greater wholeness, and be more effective channels of healing for others. As I read each chapter I repeatedly found myself wanting to share insights with friends and colleagues. But anyone who is privileged to know Sandra Bertman will not be surprised. Only a person with her compassion, common sense, humour and vision could produce such a book and so enlarge our horizons."
—Sister Frances Dominica, Director, Helen House, A Hospice for Children
"This book is worthy of a cover-to-cover read by professionals. It also needs to be dissected. Explore the subjects that catch your attention from your professional perspective. Read what looks familiar, but let them speak to you in new ways. Be challenged by the approaches and perspectives that are new to you or may, on the surface, seem to out of your skills league or your professional definitions. The book will redefine both for you.
This book is mandatory reading if you feel your clients, parishioners, patients or students deserve the best."
—Rev. Dr. Richard B. Gilbert, BCC, Executive Director of The World Pastoral Care Center
"This anthology of techniques and resources should be on the shelf of all therapists, counselors, social workers, nurses, clergy, physicians, etc., who find themselves providing support to those who grieve. The stories, readings, photography, sculpture, and poetry are not just for the clinician—they are meant to be shared with clients and other colleagues who are facing grief. By addressing creativity as a form of therapy, the book forces readers to recognize that not everyone needs to experience five stages of grief, not everyone needs to "process" or "work through" their grief to achieve "closure," and not everyone needs to express anger in response to grief. Whereas most readers may be aware of the therapeutic benefits of working on a project such as an AIDS quilt, fewer are likely to be familiar with the use of remembrance photographs, gravestone rubbings, or the powerful sculpture of Nancy Fried as a means of securing solace. Recommended for all audiences, including undergraduate collections supporting psychology curriculum."
—R.B. Stewart Jr., Oakland University
"All health professionals should immerse themselves in this book when they need reminding that they are human beings first and health professionals second. ... The range of material is impressive and the variety of contributors gives a forceful reminder that grief is everyone's business."
—Nic Hughes, Macmillan Lecturer, University of Leeds, UK, Progress in Palliative Care, Volume 8 (1)
ABOUT THE BOOK
For nearly three decades, Sandra Bertman has been exploring the power of the arts and belief—symbols, metaphors, stories—to alleviate psychological and spiritual pain not only of patients, grieving family members, and affected communities but also of the nurses, clergy and physicians who minister to them.
Her training sessions and clinical interventions are based on the premise that bringing out the creative potential inherent in each of us is just as relevant— perhaps more so—as psychiatric theory and treatment models since grief and loss are an integral part of life. Thus, this work was compiled to illuminate the many facets that link grief, counseling, and creativity. The multiple strategies suggested in these essays will help practitioners enlarge their repertoire of hands-on skills and foster introspection and empathy in readers.
Among the contributing authors are physician and nurse writers (Aaron Lazare, Bill Lamers, Laurence Schneiderman, and Cortney Davis), psychologists, photographers, and art and music therapists skilled with adult and child populations (Barbara M. Sourkes, Nancy Fried, and Elsa Dorfman). Essays on the art and thoughts of Kaethe Kollwitz and Edvard Munch, on traditional religious practices and the latest internet interventions, on puppets, music and film—all enrich the dialogue.
The four sections of this anthology are (1) The Arts, Personal Griefs, Professional Roles; (2) Some Ways Caregivers Use the Arts for Themselves and Those They Companion; (3) Lessons from Cultures Old and New; and (4) Basic Needs of Grieving People. This provocative array of insights and techniques is further punctuated with rich fiction, poetry, photography, and visual art meant to address the impasses—the moments of disconnection—encountered in the human acts of caring and is geared to refuel even the most seasoned therapist.