Found Object Sculpture: A Therapeutic Art Invention for Grief and Loss

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Peed, Carrie
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Found object sculpture, as an art therapy technique, promotes thorough exploration, examination, and analysis of grief and loss. The heuristic methodology utilized for this study provided analytical and emotional immersion and focus on past and present experiences and themes related to grief and loss. Creating sculpture with found objects discovered in nature demonstrated how found object art and its healing can occur for this population. Photographing the found objects as well as the finished art response pieces contributed to the healing process. Identification of the outer world through the intrinsic nature of found objects encouraged internal meaning. A measurable grief inventory, an adapted version of The Complicated Grief Inventory (Prigerson, et al., 1995) was given before the research began as well as, upon the conclusion of the study. Additionally, weekly therapy sessions with another mental health professional were utilized for support to manage triggers of acute grief, sadness or other issues, concerns, and challenges throughout the entire process. This heuristic research study provided information demonstrating the therapeutic benefits of art therapy for the resolution of grief and loss.