Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Julia Byers

Second Advisor

Michele Forinash

Third Advisor

Alister Inglis


In the field of expressive therapies, there are different techniques to help bereaved people to better cope with their losses (e.g., Attig, 2000; Thompson, 2003; Gulledge, 2003; Rogers, 2007; Chandler, 2007). Among various expressive arts techniques, Chinese calligraphy has been used as a therapeutic intervention for behavioral, emotional, and mental health issues (Kao, 1991; Chen, 2003). However, there is no research on using Chinese brushstroke techniques in working with people who have experienced losses. This research focuses on the experience of practicing Chinese brushstroke technique as an expressive therapeutic approach to work with seniors in expressing their feelings toward the lost of a loved one. Six participants with recent loss of a loved one, aged 78 to 94, from the Hebrew Senior Life Rehabilitation Center in Boston, Massachusetts were recruited for this study. The participants attended six sessions of workshop with one and a half hour each. The workshop focused on the application of the Chinese brush stroke techniques in forms of painting and calligraphy as therapeutic intervention for coping with the loss of their loved ones. In this paper, meaning making, continuing bonds with the deceased loved one, and maintaining balance have been identified among many contributing factors to healthy bereavement coping. Practicing Chinese brush strokes techniques in forms of painting and calligraphy appeared to be helpful in promoting these factors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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