An Expressive Arts Approach
to Working with Loss, Grief and Trauma
Earn Credit for 1 Orientation Module toward
Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction or
Certification in Art-Assisted Grief Therapy
Offered by the Portland Institute.
August 16, 2021
Irene Renzenbrink, PhD
Expressive Arts Therapist / Social Worker
Vancouver Art Therapy Institute
USD$99 for 3-hour module
This didactic and experiential module provides an introduction to the philosophical foundations, principles and practices of Expressive Arts Therapy and how using “all of the arts” can enhance grief counselling and grief therapy through art-assisted activities with individuals and groups.
Expressive Arts Therapy is based on an aesthetic and phenomenological approach to therapy in which the arts have a fundamental place in the search for truth and healing. A guiding principle in Expressive Arts Therapy is the concept of poiesis, the act of knowing by making and imaginatively reshaping the often painful and traumatic challenges that life gives us. Case studies will highlight the role of the arts and intermodal transfer in meaning reconstruction, unfinished business and the establishment of continuing bonds. The components of the ‘architecture’ of an expressive arts therapy session, including filling in, decentering, aesthetic analysis, and harvesting will provide the framework for a “Healing the Pain in My Life” experiential learning activity. This exercise will be followed by processing in pairs and group discussion.
Describe what is meant by intermodal expressive arts therapy and how “all of the arts” can be used in working with grief and bereavement in a highly imaginative integrated way;
Apply the concept of poiesis in making and shaping experiences of grief and loss through the art making process in an experiential learning activity;
Analyze through case examples how to expand the range of play and restore a sense of capacity by using a decentering and aesthetic response method to engage clients in exercising their imagination as they navigate their way through various experiences of loss, grief and trauma; and
Describe how an arts-based approach can help clients to finish unfinished business, establish nourishing continuing bonds and create meaning in their loss through artistic and poetic means.
Note: Attendance of the live training session confers credit of 1 Orientation Module required for Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning Reconstruction or Certification in Art-Assisted Grief Therapy.
COURSE PACK PROVIDES
A PDF copy of the presentation slides;
List of needed and suggested art supplies;
Instructions for the “Healing the Pain in My Life” experiential learning exercise; and
Instructions for processing the “Healing the Pain in My Life” experiential learning exercise in pairs
ART SUPPLIES NEEDED
Three sheets of A4, sketch book or cartridge paper;
Assortment of felt tip markers;
Box of oil pastels; and
Journal, paper and pen for writing
9am-12pm, SGT: Singapore, which corresponds to 10am-1pm in Tokyo, 11am-2pm in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Zoom meeting link and the module materials will be emailed to all registrants in due course.
GRIEF TRAINING FACULTY
Irene Renzenbrink, PhD is an Australian social worker and pioneer in the field of grief and bereavement. A member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement, she studied art therapy at the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute in 2010 and teaches their online course, Art of Loss. In 2018, Irene was awarded a PhD (magna cum laude) in Expressive Arts Therapy by the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland. Her book, An Expressive Arts Approach to Healing Loss and Grief: Working Across the Spectrum of Loss with Individuals and Communities, bridges the fields of grief and expressive arts.