Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Grief and Bereavement Experience

I attended University of Florida's Arts in Medicine program and it changed my life. The program was amazing and confirmed what I had always known, art/creativity is healing. The program was amazing and taught me how to use art with people that were sick and/or hospitalized. Many of these patients had life-limiting illnesses. The artists in residence at Shands Hospital would bring creativity into the hospital rooms and waiting rooms. The mood in the rooms would change! For many, the creativity improved their mood and most importantly gave them an avenue to express themselves. I "graduated" this program a different person. I had acquired more meaning in my life, in the duration of the program, than I had gained my whole life. When I left the program, I knew I wanted to work with Hospice and use Expressive Arts to help people through their losses. I also decided that I wanted to be able to pair a talk therapy model with the Expressive Arts. Therefore, I enrolled in Nova Southeastern University's Marriage and Family Therapy Program. I completed the program and landed an internship and job at a local Hospice.

I had an amazing supervisor and mentor at Hospice, Carolyn Amaral, LCSW. She took me under her wing and taught me the ropes of anticipatory grief (before the death occurs) and bereavement counseling. I gained so much great experience working with the Hospice families. They taught me more than any classroom or textbook could ever provide. I am forever grateful to the Hospice patients and families. The patients and families were always appreciative of the in-home Expressive Art sessions mixed with counseling. I soon learned that Expressive Arts was an amazing tool to have as a therapist. I was able to witness everyday how that creativity allows the person to let down their boundaries and talk freely about their concerns, fears, worries, etc. I had finally discovered my passion in life..........HELPING PEOPLE HEAL THEIR BROKEN HEARTS. How can life get better when you are able to witness the broken hearted return to a sense of hope after a major loss or life transition???? I found my niche and my life work. I am devoted to grief/loss/bereavement work. I am passionate about helping people through these major life transitions.

No comments:

Post a Comment