Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Sarah Hamil


This literature review distinguished group arts processing as a successful approach to treating clinically diagnosed bereavement, specifically as a sustainable support in the developmental milestones of young adults. Expressive arts therapy interventions were examined as a successful treatment option to sustain expected age appropriate developmental milestones. Current literature indicated that the expansion from cyclical grief theory has opened up multiple opportunities for more dimensional and art inclusive bereavement supports. Peer-support models and age specific processing groups have an evidenced-based presence in service offerings for this age range. Through expressive therapy directives that focus on objectives of meaning making, memorializing, and continuing bonds with the deceased, three major areas of young development are addressed. The areas of young adult development that this review focused are self-regulation, intimacy, and self-preservation. Though research on group art processing evidencing more validity and success in treatment than individual art processing was inconclusive, the quantitative and qualitative studies exhibited in this review support overall room for improved treatment attempts. This literature review examined and illuminated the expansion of more peer-model grief work that specifically targets young adults in mourning. Expressive therapies offer a primary source of processing and increased self-reliance towards healing.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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