Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Arts in Health & Education


This extended literature review explores the value of art therapy interventions for bereaved adults, with a particular emphasis on its application for individuals with histories of insecure attachment. A review of literature in the areas of bereavement and attachment considers how attachment insecurities present as a risk factor for complications in the grieving process with a subsequent focus on the implications for therapeutic intervention. A review of literature in art therapy, related areas of psychoanalysis and creativity aims to highlight the distinct value that art therapy could offer this particular subgroup of bereaved adults in adapting to grief. An incorporation of models of bereavement such as the Dual Process Model (Stroebe et al., 1999) into the practice of art therapy can enrich perception of the processes of grief, potentially impact a bereaved individual’s therapeutic engagement and influence the progression of adaptation. The triangular relationship in art therapy incorporating artist, art therapist, and art object, offers a dynamic platform for the inimitable support and containment of a bereaved individual. Art therapy can facilitate processes central to adapting to complicated forms of grief including the development of core emotional regulatory capacities and the faculty to symbolise.

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