Date & Time
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Using the theme set forth in Claudia Coenen’s book, Shattered by Grief: Picking up the pieces to become WHOLE again, this 5-part workshop will review current grief counseling models, deliver creative methods to understand the grieving process, and strategies to help the bereaved.
Many of the creative activities can be used by patients on the end of life spectrum. Each session will include one or more focused methodology, including creative process sheets, drawing, collage, and movement. Participants will also be guided through relaxation techniques that are designed to support those in grief and have the opportunity to experience how creative processes can be beneficial in grief counseling. In order to integrate the teachings, small/large experiential group work will be incorporated into the sessions.
Each class will begin with an opening circle and end with a closing circle, including a poem or a somatic exercise. Creative worksheets, Karuna Cards, and other experiential activities from Claudia’s two books will be used.
1. Week 1—What Happened: Introductory session will use stories as a learning tool, present a brief overview of different approaches to grief, introduce participants, and do a gathering exercise. After an introduction to the five parts of the process, we will look at what happened and the importance of narratives in grief. We will explore how to help the bereaved view their grief stories through different lenses, as a way to shift the emotional response to the narrative itself.
2. Week 2—Who Am I and How To Do This: Focuses on grief’s impact on identity. Lives feel altered after loss and grievers struggle with how to view themselves. Issues of identity after loss will be discussed in dyads and then a creative who am I exercise. The second part of this session will focus on instrumental ways to grieve. The difference between intuitive grief and instrumental grief, as well as an activity based on the Dual Process, will be shared. How to do this highlights practical ways to get through grief.
3. Week 3—Opening to Emotion: Processing emotion through art, movement, somatic awareness, and validation.
4. Week 4—Learning To Live Fully Again and Exploring The Past To Experience The Future: What does it mean to live fully after loss? How is it accomplished? Creative process, dyadic and triadic sharing and a recognition of resilience are examined. We will use diagrams and other creative modalities, discuss the important connections made in relationships by exploring the past to experience the future, which includes remembering, commemorating and memorializing, continuing bonds, and considering gifts.
5. Week 5—We will integrate the previous sessions and take a long view of rebuilding a sense of wholeness as a possibility after loss. Participants will be able to reflect on the WHOLE concept, how humans fluctuate between feeling and doing, and the importance of compassionate listening in counseling. Attendees working towards a certificate in thanatology will come away with clear methods for working with dying patients and bereaved people. They will also achieve a greater understanding of core principles in thanatology, including meaning making, reconstructing assumptive worlds, how to companion clients, and the dual process.
A Weekly Class
(5 Sessions) Thursdays, January 30 – February 27, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Members $140/ Nonmembers $175
This program is part of the Art of Dying Institute. For complete information click here.
Click here for additional classes with Claudia Coenen
New York Open Center
Claudia Coenen is a certified grief counselor in private practice at The Karuna Project in Hudson, New York. She presents workshops on grief processing, fear, and uncertainty in complex situations and vicarious trauma in the workplace. Claudia is a fellow in thanatology through the Association of Death Education and Counseling and holds a Masters in transpersonal psychology, with a focus on creativity and innovation.
Claudia utilizes expressive therapy techniques with her clients, to assist them in discovering a sense of wholeness after loss. She believes that creativity and personal forms of expression such as writing, storytelling, art modalities, collage, and movement can deepen the grief experience. Her life as a performer, musician, dancer, choreographer, and writer informs her work.
Claudia is the author of Shattered by Grief: Picking up the pieces to become WHOLE again, and the Karuna Cards, a deck of creative prompts for grief and difficult life transitions. Her new book (in process) is a creative grief toolkit, and includes activity sheets that practitioners will be able to use with their own clients.