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Honouring Loss: Using Mementos as Transitional Objects to Explore Ambiguous Loss

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Honouring Loss: Using Mementos as Transitional Objects to Explore Ambiguous Loss

Thompson, Christina (Christy) (2019) Honouring Loss: Using Mementos as Transitional Objects to Explore Ambiguous Loss. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

HONOURING LOSS: USING MEMENTOS AS TRANSITIONAL OBJECTS TO EXPLORE AMBIGUOUS LOSS

A HEURISTIC ART-BASED INQUIRY

CHRISTINA THOMPSON (CHRISTY)

To investigate the question, "What is the experience of using mementos as transitional objects to explore ambiguous loss in art therapy?", I undertook Moustakas' Six Phases of Heuristic Inquiry (Moustakas, 1990). Exploring my own ambiguous loss, I worked with mementos, personally significant objects I kept as a reminder of my brother who disappeared in a landslide in 1995. I searched for both personal insights and a professional understanding of the potential benefits of using mementos as transitional objects to support grieving clients in art therapy. Documenting my art-based inquiry over a three-month period, I undertook a slow methodical process of creative transformation. Engaging with the materiality of my mementos, knitted clothing once belonging to my brother, I unraveled the garments and wove the repurposed yarn into a burial shroud, creating a meaningful ritual that symbolically represented my brother's missing body and supported the development of a new narrative and deeper understanding of my loss and ongoing relationship with my brother (Gilles & Neimeyer, 2006). Through this creative process, I discovered and integrated current bereavement paradigms which underline the importance of meaning reconstruction from loss and continuous bonds with the deceased for healthy coping and loss integration (Neimeyer, 2001, Field, Gao & Paderna, 2005).

Key terms: art therapy, weaving, transitional objects, mementos, ambiguous loss, grief, bereavement, continuous bonds, transformation, meaning making, active grieving

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Thompson, Christina (Christy)
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy Option)
Date:July 2019
ID Code:985636
Deposited By: CHRISTINA M. THOMPSON
Deposited On:12 Aug 2019 18:23
Last Modified:12 Aug 2019 18:23
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