Creating a Collage to Cope with Grief Dealing with a loss of a loved one is tough work. Grieving involves a variety of different emotions such as sadness, anxiety, anger, despair, loneliness, etc. All of these emotions can be very overwhelming and at times seem unbearable. Nobody enjoys dealing with these emotions but they are necessary. They are a reaction to a large adjustment process: understanding and living our life without this significant person. There are active ways that you can deal with your grief. One of these ways is to make a collage. People who are very creative and visual often enjoy this type of activity to cope with their grief.
You are going to need a large piece of poster board to make your collage. Choose any color you want. You may want to choose your loved one’s favorite color, a color that reminds you of him or her, or even a color that feels comforting to you. Next, gather all the pictures that you can of your loved one. Begin to sort them in a way that feels right for you. Some ways to sort the pictures are by age of the person, by activity, by other people that are in the photo, or any other way that makes sense to you.
Next, consider looking through some magazines or using other items that have some meaning connected to your loved one. For example, maybe you saved a concert or show ticket that you went to with him or her. That may be a good thing to include. Think as creatively as possible about things to include. Magazines can be good way to find ideas or items that are meaningful to you. Magazines are also very helpful if you don’t have many pictures or items to use in your collage.
Now, what else do you want to include? Do you want to use markers, stickers, stamps, etc. This is your collage. You can make it any way you want. Don’t be afraid to use your creativity. The point of collage is not really to make a piece of artwork (although it may be something that you are really proud of and want to share with others). The main point of making the collage is to access your grief. Looking at pictures, thinking about memories, remembering good times: these are all ways to celebrate a person’s life and as a result to feel all of the positive and negative emotions that happen in the process. Making your collage may not necessarily be a one-time activity. Often, the process of collecting elements for the collage and thinking about how you are going to create it can bring up strong emotions. If it feels like it is too painful, stop working on the collage and do something else that you find pleasurable or that can distract you for a bit. Or, use those feelings to cry and let out some of your emotions. Making the collage also does not need to be a solitary activity. You may find it much more meaningful and helpful to create your collage with another person who knew your loved one or is also grieving over him or her.
Once your collage is done what do you do with it? Well, that is up to you. You may choose to frame it and display it in your house. You may want to share it with others. Or, maybe you just want to keep it in a safe place where you can pull it out and look at it whenever you want. Whatever you choose to do, choose what feels right for you. This is your grieving process. Grief is hard work. We need to grieve in a way that helps us to come to terms with our loss and to move on to live the fulfilling lives that are loved ones would desire for us.
Grief therapy in Philadelphia: creating a collage to cope with grief. Still struggling?
You can self schedule an in-person or virtual couples therapy session at the Center for Growth by calling (215) 922-5683 x 100.
For your convenience we have 6 physical therapy and counseling offices and provide virtual therapy services in Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Virginia.
Ocean City Therapy Office
360 West Ave, Floor 1, Ocean City, NJ 08226
Mechanicsville Therapy Office
9044 Mann Drive, Mechanicsville Virginia, 23116
Providence Therapy Office
173 Waterman Street, Providence Rhode Island, 02906
Society Hill Therapy Office
233 S. 6th Street, C-33, Philadelphia PA 19106
Art Museum / Fairmount Therapy Office
2401 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 1a2, Philadelphia PA 19130
Santa Fe Therapy Office, 2204 B Brothers Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87505
Telemedicine Therapy: We have therapists who are licensed to work in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia New Mexico and Pennsylvania
Grief Therapy Services Offered in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville, Providence, Santa Fe:
Individual Counseling and therapy
Couples Counseling and marriage counseling
Family Therapy and multi-generational counseling
Breaking the cycle of Codependency and being your own person
Depression Therapy and sadness, gloom, and upset support
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery child of, parent of, spouse of, sibling of a narcissist.
Sex Therapy and sexual function & dysfunction, sex addiction, sexual orientation and gender identity support
Trauma Therapy both emotional and sexual abuse, complex trauma, PTSD counseling
Affairs, Infidelity, Unfaithful, Cheating counseling.
Personality disorder treatments Narcissist, Borderline, Histrionic.
Grief therapy, also known as grief counseling or bereavement therapy, is a form of psychotherapy designed to help individuals cope with and process the emotional and psychological challenges associated with the loss of a loved one or other significant life changes. Grief is a natural response to loss, but for some individuals, the grieving process can become overwhelming and impact their overall well-being. Grief therapy aims to provide support and guidance during this difficult time.
Key aspects of grief therapy include:
- Emotional Expression: Grief therapy provides a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to express their feelings, thoughts, and reactions to the loss. This can involve talking about memories, sharing stories, and exploring the different emotions that arise.
- Validation: The therapist validates the individual's emotions and experiences, helping them understand that their feelings are natural and normal responses to loss. This validation can help individuals feel understood and less isolated in their grief.
- Education: Grief therapy can provide information about the grieving process, helping individuals understand the stages of grief and the various emotions they may experience. Education can promote self-awareness and a sense of control during a tumultuous time.
- Coping Strategies: Therapists in grief therapy often teach coping skills and techniques to manage the emotional pain and stress associated with grief. These strategies can include relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and healthy ways of expressing emotions.
- Adjustment: Grief therapy helps individuals adjust to life after loss. This can involve exploring how roles and routines may have changed and identifying ways to find meaning and purpose in the midst of grief.
- Continuing Bonds: Some grief therapy approaches focus on the concept of continuing bonds, which means finding ways to maintain a connection with the deceased while adapting to the reality of their absence.
- Individualized Approach: Grief therapy is tailored to the individual's unique experience of loss. Therapists work with clients to understand their personal history, relationship with the deceased, and cultural and spiritual beliefs that may influence their grieving process.
- Group and Individual Settings: Grief therapy can take place in both individual and group settings. Group therapy allows individuals to connect with others who are also experiencing loss, providing a sense of community and shared understanding.
It's important to note that grief therapy is not about "getting over" the loss but rather learning to navigate life in a way that acknowledges and incorporates the loss into one's sense of self. Grief is a highly individualized experience, and the therapeutic process respects and supports each person's unique journey.
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief and finding it difficult to cope with a loss, seeking support from a qualified mental health professional, such as a grief counselor or therapist, can provide valuable assistance in processing emotions and developing effective coping strategies.