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Live Training

Art-Assisted Grief Therapy:

Open Studio

Earn Credit for Up To 3 Practicum Sessions toward

Certification in Art-Assisted Grief Therapy

Offered by the Portland Institute.

May 4-Jun 8, 2021

10Am-12pm, PDT

(6 sessions, every Tuesday)

Presented by

Sharon Strouse


Art Therapist

Associate Director

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

USD$99 for Single Session

USD$495 for 6-Session

Practicum Studio (AAGT) 

(under Online Components)

The Open Studio is a safe space for creative exploration, play and reverie. Art making, in the virtual company of others, invites learners into the world of imagination where the process of making and shaping what is given promotes a sense of wellbeing. It is a place to explore innermost feelings and thoughts in a community where relationships support the powerful medicine of being seen and heard.  It is an opportunity for self-care 

This informal yet energy infused open studio offering will focus on the art making process, stimulate the relationship to art materials and serve to empower each learner as self-determined artist. Each session includes a specific creative technique demonstration, such as the construction of altered book pockets and tags, to encourage creative risk-taking in artistic self discovery and meaning reconstruction. Learners explore themselves in a container of thoughtful absorption and then share their process and product with a partner and with the group. This life affirming action of making, shaping and sharing is rooted in empathy and compassion. No artistic talent required only curiosity, willingness and presence.

The AAGT Open Studio experience will include a private, members only Facebook group.  This will be a forum for posting images of your creative explorations in support of community and conversation.

OPEN STUDIO FORMAT (2-hour weekly session for 6 weeks)

Learners are strongly encouraged to commit to the entire series of 6 sessions whenever possible in order to promote a climate of trust and safety within the group.

  • Creative technique demonstration;

  • Create and engage in an art-based modality of your choice; and

  • Share and process in pairs and with the group.


Demonstrations will focus on a variety of modalities, such as...

  • Altered Books, Assemblage, Collage, Doll Making, Hand Held Watercolor Books, Mandalas, Mask Making, Memory Boxes / Shrines, Painted Rocks, Spirit Cards, Talking Sticks, and more...


  • Clear instructions for collage, doll making and memory boxes, art materials, and individual and pairs processing;

  • Additional materials for any specific techniques highlighted in the studio; and

  • Rubrics for brief reflective writing which, upon completion, confers credits of up to 3 Practicum Sessions leading to Certification in Art-Assisted Grief Therapy (3 hours total activity, including 2-hour webinar and approximately 1-hour reflection).


For those who would like to earn Practicum credits toward the AAGT Certification, please kindly note the following steps:

  • Complete the Technique Modules on Collage, Doll Making, and/or Memory Boxes, and submit the relevant Responsive Journals, if any;

  • Create a collage, a doll, and/or a memory box during any of the six Open Studio sessions for personal exploration; and

  • Submit the respective Responsive Journals after the sessions.

Upon returning the Responsive Journals after the Open Studio sessions, the relevant credits will be accredited to the learners afterward.  Completion of each creative technique and journal will confer to 1 Practicum credit.


Here is a list of art materials, by no means complete, but rather a starting point of basics, which learners are encouraged to build upon.  


  • 10am-12pm PDT: Portland, OR, which corresponds to 1-3pm in New York, 6-8pm in London, and 7-9pm in Amsterdam.

The Zoom meeting link and the module materials will be emailed to all registrants in due course.


Presenting Faculty

Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT is a board-certified and licensed clinical professional art therapist and Associate Director for the Portland Institute.  Her art therapy private practice, national presentations, trainings and practitioner supervision / mentoring focus on traumatic loss, specifically with parents who have lost a child, suicide bereavement, and military loss/ Gold Star Families.  The theoretical foundations of her group and individual art therapy work are grounded in meaning reconstruction, attachment informed grief therapy, continuing bonds with the deceased and restorative retelling.  She is author of Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing, ( written twelve years after the suicide of her seventeen-year-old daughter.  She is co-founder of The Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation ( a non-profit dedicated to supporting programs that increase awareness of mental health through education and the arts.

An occasional guest co-leader may be invited to offer an enhanced and specialized experience.

Sharon Strouse,


Photo - Sharon Strouse 2.jpg

USD$99 for Single Session

USD$495 for 6-Session

Practicum Studio (AAGT) 

(under Online Components)

For other enquiries, simply email Sharon.

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