Creative Communication – How to play with colors and words to explore grief – what do you think??

Creative Communication – How to play with colors and words to explore grief – what do you think??

Life & Death Matters Post

I love telling people about “Jen Wortham” our amazing instructor from Manhattan New York!  Jen is an artist, a counselor, and an incredible guide for navigate grief in a safe place.

Imagine my surprise when Jen suggested teaching

an online course about the art of grieving?!?!

“Oh sure”, I replied “teach an art class online…. how is that possible?”

Jen assured me “This isn’t an art class! We use a creative approach to explore loss to enable people to then talk or write about losses and grief.”

“We play with colours and words, and people learn communication skills that they can then take back to their work to assist others find ways to find the words.”

So I trusted Jen and we offered the course for the first time two years ago.  I was blown away by the response from learners in the course.  A few things were clear immediately:

  • You do not need to be an artist to play with colour.
  • The learning was as important to self care as it was to skill development.
  • Jen’s gentle facilitation and insights were healing and restorative.

IMAGINE! If the learners had such an incredible experience, imagine what could happen if we “teach the teachers” to help others   “find the words!”

So, we’ve modified the course and retitled it as “Creative Communication: New Ways to Find Words for Dealing with Loss and Grief” beginning on October 10th. I asked Jen to provide us some of the ideas behind this new and improved course and how this course can help you in your work. (This course was formerly titled “The Art of Grieving”).

  1. Using a different approach to grief can help individuals gain a new perspective even on a seemingly intractable grief.
  2. When words alone are not enough, taking a creative approach to exploring loss and grief is a way to build resilience and offer insight.
  3. Supporting individuals experiencing losses through a playful approach can ease the process.
  4. Playing with and concentrating on color, pictures and mementos while focusing on a loss can free your heart to speak.
  5. Good News:  The Art of Healing requires no artistic ability.
  6. “Healing from grief is not the process of forgetting— it is the process of remembering with less pain and more joy.” Marie José Dhaese:
  7. Create more inner space for your grief and you will have more of you to offer your family and your clients.

What do you think?  Would playing with colours and words help you explore grief?


For further information about the online course:

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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