At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Brianne Overton about using the healing arts to help people cope with grief.

In the video below, Brianne discusses healing/expressive arts and how they can help you get through the grieving process.

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Drawing, writing, poetry, storyboards, and music can all be used as healing arts. Anything that allows you to express yourself creatively.
  • When it comes to storyboards, you start off with just a blank piece of paper folded into 4’s or 6’s. From there, draw a picture in one of the squares and then pass it on to someone else in the group to fill in another square.
  • When the squares are all filled in, a story emerges. This story is a symbolic thing that shows people your story starts somewhere, but it may not end the way you planned it.
  • That’s exactly how grief goes. Grief never goes the way we plan it to, it’s a journey that doesn’t go in a straight line.
  • Brianne says this is an important lesson for kids, teens, and adults of any age. Grief doesn’t look the same for everyone, it’s often very different from one person to another.
  • Grief is your own personal journey. It’s not the same for everyone, but everyone can help each other along the way.

For more video interviews, please see the Open To Hope YouTube channel.

Heidi Horsley

Dr. Heidi Horsley is a licensed psychologist, social worker, and bereaved sibling. She co-hosts the award-winning weekly cable television show and podcast, Open to Hope. Dr. Heidi is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and an award-winning author, who has co-authored eight books, and serves on the United Nations Global Mental Health Task Force. She also serves on the Advisory Boards for the Tragedy Assistance Program, the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, and Peace of Mind Afghanistan. She served on the National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends, and for 10 yrs. worked on a Columbia University research study looking at traumatic loss over time in families who lost a firefighter in the World Trade Center.

More Articles Written by Heidi