"Our grief is as individual as our lives." ~ Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Grief is a natural response to loss. Grief may occur in many facets of life from the current pandemic to a wide range of experiences like the loss of a loved one, a relationship, significant life events or transitions, and systemic oppression, to name a few. Grief is complex and unique—expressed in diverse ways with a kaleidoscope of emotions that can affect your thoughts and behavior, mood, beliefs, physical health, your sense of self and identity, and your relationships with others.

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first explored the now renowned five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. To this day, her research frames contemporary approaches to grief and loss. We will examine theories of grief/bereavement, be introduced to creative arts therapy-based methods to process grief and loss, view case examples of bereaved individuals using art therapy to heal, and investigate personal and cultural approaches to the subject. Students will critically analyze how race, religion, ethnicity, gender and other constructs shape one’s response to grief. And discover how loss finds a voice in poetry, fiction, art, music, drama and other creative forms. Finally, students will engage in experiential exercises to foster expression and gain an understanding of using creativity as a source for healing.