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Emergence from the rubble… The found poems and artwork of women living through breast cancer engaging in art therapy


Emergence from the rubble… The found poems and artwork of women living through breast cancer engaging in art therapy

Reilly, Rosemary C. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7274-4488 (2017) Emergence from the rubble… The found poems and artwork of women living through breast cancer engaging in art therapy. Other. self-published, Montreal.

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Life-threatening illness can be sufficiently traumatic to shatter one’s beliefs about self, others, and the world. This disruption can trigger an instinctive search for meaning. Research highlights that how individuals respond post-adversity can make the difference between experiencing existential angst and posttraumatic stress or existential and posttraumatic growth. This chapbook presents some of the findings of a pilot study situated in a cancer care centre and details the impact of creative arts therapy on the experiences of women living through breast cancer. Women were interviewed about their experiences making art, many for the first time. Findings are presented in the form of found poems (excerpts from interviews reframed as poetry) along with an illustrative example of their artwork. Found poems are a richer, more accessible, meaningful, and potent evocation of the themes than traditional analysis. Poetry allows the reader to access deeper insights and understandings of the texture and meaning of existential and posttraumatic growth, and how art-making can provide a safe, dynamic context for women with breast cancer to reflect on profound personal changes and to re-story losses through creative arts practices.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Applied Human Sciences
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies
Item Type:Monograph (Other)
Authors:Reilly, Rosemary C.
Institution:Concordia University
Date:June 2017
  • SSHRC Connections grant 2016: The power of art to promote psychological and existential growth during adversity
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Concordia University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Quebec Nursing Intervention Research Network
  • Fonds de researche Santé, Quebec
  • McGill University Health Centre
  • Cedars Cancer Foundation
  • Cedars CanSupport
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.11573/spectrum.library.concordia.ca.00982600
Keywords:women; breast cancer; posttraumatic growth; existential growth; found poems; arts-based research; poetry
ID Code:982600
Deposited By: Rosemary Reilly
Deposited On:12 Jun 2017 12:46
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55
Additional Information:These poems emerge from a research project entitled "The art of healing: Exploring the use of art therapy in oncology nursing practice to enhance whole person cancer care" led by Virginia Lee RN, PhD, Kate Laux MA, ATPQ, Andréanne Robitaille, RN, MScN, and Rosemary C. Reilly, PhD.


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