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An Expressive Arts Approach to Healing Loss and Grief


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Table of Contents

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

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An exploration of expressive arts therapy in supporting those dealing with loss and grief

About the Author

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.


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 (Ret'd), National Center for Death Education
In this beautiful and deeply moving work Renzenbrink interweaves extensive professional knowledge and experience with personal story to show us that beyond suffering, hope and healing are possible, that we have within us an unshakable resilience that can be touched and nurtured by creative work. This is the most important book I have read for anyone working with grief and loss. -- Sally Atkins, Ed.D. REAT, REACE, Licensed Psychologist, Professor of Expressive Arts, The European Graduate School, Professor Emerita, Appalachian State University

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