Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Krystal Demaine


Bereavement is a multifaceted, evolving, and intensely individual experience. Moving away from a linear theoretical framework towards a constructivist theoretical model promotes the healing properties of self-narrative while incorporating the story of the loss of a loved one. Most important to bereaved individuals, as indicated by current research on the topics of death, grief, and bereavement are memory keeping, meaning making, and continued bonds with the deceased. These common themes have remained consistent since the Victorian age.

Traditional mourning jewelry represents a form of memorialization and continued bonds with the dead. Alternative forms of art using found objects belonging to the decedent or associated with the deceased via assigned meaning from the bereaved can be used to create mementos designed to serve as memory keeping objects. Art therapy techniques, combined with curated found objects, photography, and digital art can assist individuals to externalize and process emotions related to coping with bereavement. This thesis presents historical and contemporary societal views and clinical approaches regarding bereavement, as well as the role of art therapy within the context of bereavement. Literature on the topic of bereavement will be reviewed.

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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