Grief Unseen: Healing Pregnancy Loss Through the Arts

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006 - Family & Relationships - 191 pages

At least one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage, yet pregnancy loss remains a taboo topic and effective aftercare is rarely available for those who have experienced it. Grief Unseen explains the different kinds of childbearing losses, such as failed fertility treatment, ectopic pregnancy, and stillbirth, and explores their emotional impact on women and their partners, and the process of healing.

An established art therapist and mental health counselor, Laura Seftel shares her own experiences of miscarriage and recovery, and describes the use of art and ritual as a response to loss in traditional and modern cultures. She presents a rich variety of artists who have explored pregnancy loss in their work, including Frida Kahlo, Judy Chicago, and Tori Amos, and shows how people with no previous artistic experience can generate creative responses as part of the healing process. The book includes step-by-step exercises in guided imagery, poetry, visual art, journaling, and creating rituals.

This accessible, positive resource will be useful to practitioners in the fields of medicine, mental health, art therapy, and counseling, as well as women and families who have suffered pregnancy loss.

 

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Contents

Foreword
9
Acknowledgments
13
A Grief Without a Shape
15
1 My Story
21
2 Losing a Dream
27
3 Griefwork
57
4 Singing the Silence
69
5 Art in Therapy
95
The Creative Response to Loss
139
9 Creating Your Own Healing Practice Through the Arts
149
10 Creative Activities
155
Conclusion
173
References
175
Further Reading
181
Useful Organizations
183
Subject Index
187

6 Art in the Studio
109
Butter Toads and Miracles
125

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About the author (2006)

Laura Seftel ATR-BC is Founding Director of the Secret Club Project, a grant-winning project portraying artists' experiences of pregnancy loss. She is a speaker for the American Art Therapy Association and Co-Director of The Art Therapy Studio in Massachusetts, offering individual and group counseling focused on art and healing. She has previously run a number of training courses and has authored articles for journals such as the American Journal of Art Therapy.

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