Reflection Cards: An Art Therapy Study with Recently Widowed Women

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Gregory, Teresa
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This study investigated the use of cognitive/symbolic artistic functioning and ritual in group art therapy through the making of “reflection cards.” Two women, who have recently experienced the loss of a spouse, participated in the art therapy session that included “homework” of daily reflective moments. Participants rated the helpfulness of various components of the intervention and their level of agreement with three key concepts from the model of meaning reconstruction in bereavement (Neimeyer, 2001). Additionally, qualitative, phenomenological data was recorded and any spiritual symbolism was investigated. Results pointed toward the effectiveness of cognitive/symbolic artistic functioning and post-intervention reflection for helpfulness in grief adjustment. Both of these preliminary findings warrant further investigation, as the implications for the field of art therapy are significant. No conclusions were made about the use of spiritual symbolism.