At the annual ADEC Conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Sharon Strouse of The Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation and discuss with her ways to deal with grief after losing a child.

Sharon is also the author of a book called Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing. Using her book, anyone can create their own collage and begin the process of moving through grief.

In the video below, Sharon shares how to use art therapy to heal.

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Sharon lost her daughter to suicide on October 11, 2001. About a year after losing her daughter, Sharon started making artwork.
  • Sharon is an art therapist by trade, but this is what it took for her to figure out that she should be doing what she offers to others. She started by sitting down one night and making a collage, and her whole world changed.
  • If you’re bereaved, as Sharon was, you can get started with art therapy by gathering simple materials like a magazine, a glue stick, and a piece of paper.
  •  Sit quietly and ask yourself what you’re really feeling and what’s really going on. Flip through the magazine and the images will appear, the words will appear, and they will meet you right where you are. It’s wonderful tool to help yourself let go and dive deeper into your feelings.
  • You need to make the effort to set the time aside to do this. Give yourself this time and a whole other world will open up. It’s a magnificent way of healing, Sharon says.
  • Sharon’s book is all about her process and how she has used her process over the years. Sharon also suggest visiting her website at to look at images of the process she explains in the video. Looking at the images you’ll see anyone can do this.

For more video interviews like this one, please see the Open to Hope YouTube channel

Gloria Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley is an internationally known grief expert, psychotherapist, and bereaved parent. She started "Open to Hope" to help the millions in the world with grief. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Nurse Specialist, and has worked in the field of family therapy for over 20 years. Dr. Horsley hosts the syndicated internet radio show, The Grief Blog which is one of the top ranked shows on Health Voice America. She serves the Compassionate Friends in a number of roles including as a Board of Directors, chapter leader, workshop facilitator, and frequently serves as media spokesperson. Dr. Horsley is often called on to present seminars throughout the country. She has made appearances on numerous television and radio programs including "The Today Show," "Montel Williams," and "Sallie Jessie Raphael." In addition, she has authored a number of articles and written several books including Teen Grief Relief with Dr. Heidi Horlsey, and The In-Law Survival Guide.

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