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Artful Grief: Grief, Loss and the Expressive Arts

March 24, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Artful Grief is a visual diary and case study of complicated grief by art therapist, Sharon Strouse, in the aftermath of her daughter’s suicide. This decade long journey is documented through the creative process of collage making. Sharon makes sense of her daughter’s violent death, forges a new identity and returns to life.

Ten of Sharon’s spontaneous collages are presented within Neimeyer’s framework of Meaning Reconstruction, where three key elements are highlighted: The Practical: How did it happen, The Relational: Who am I and The Existential: Why it happen. Worden and Winokuer’s Task Model of Bereavement and Stroebe and Schut’s Duel Process Model will also be addressed along with excerpts from Sharon’s journals, which offer insight into the healing potential of the creative process.

Although Artful Grief focuses on a creative process in response to a death by suicide it is applicable to those suffering through other traumatic life experiences.

Participants will have the opportunity to experience the transformational process of image making by creating their own collages along with sharing and processing.


Sharon Strouse, MA, ART- BC, LCPAT

Teaching Methods

  • Power Point Presentation with a discussion and Q&A
  • Experiential – Collage making opportunity for all participants
  • Process – Discussion and Q&A

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will identify three elements that support Meaning Reconstruction within bereavement as expressed through collage making: The Practical: How did it happen, The Relational: Who am I and The Existential: Why it happened.
  • Participants will recognize Worden and Winokuer’s: Task Model of Bereavement and Strobe and Schut’s: Duel Process Model, two current conceptualizations of the grief response, expressed and enlivened in an expressive arts modality.
  • Participants will understand, from principle to practice, how magazine words and images used in the construction of collage, reflect an experience of loss, invite presence and provide a safe structure/container for exploring what is impossible to articulate.

Who should attend?

Helping professionals and graduate students who work with grief and are interested in learning more about the use of art therapy with bereaved clients

Ticket Information

Professional Registration Fee: $150.00

Student Registration Fee: $75.00

Registration to this event is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. The registration deadline is Thursday, March 23rd at 12 noon EST. Please note that registration will be closed once all of our slots our filled, which may be in advance of this deadline.  All registration sales are online only, no exceptions.

CE Information

This program is approved for 3 continuing education contact hours by the New York State Education Department State Board for Social Work (provider #0021).

Refund/Cancellation Policies 

Please email the Center immediately at training@complicatedgrief.columbia.edu if you are unable to attend. Registration fees can be refunded if cancellation is made at least 5 business days prior to the workshop (cancellation must be made by Friday, March 17th).

Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require accommodations to attend an event at Columbia University, please contact Disability Services at 212-854-2388 or disability@columbia.edu at least 5 days in advance of the event.


March 24, 2017
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Columbia School of Social Work
1255 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027 United States