Claudia Coenen's The Creative Toolkit for Working with Grief and Bereavement is a lovely guidebook and bible for those working with clients dealing with grief. Claudia's book provides some wonderful how-to exercises to use with bereaved clients, indicating which exercises are most beneficial with the client's current process in dealing with loss. In addition, she provides a wonderful foundation of historical information related to how grief has been addressed, the changing views on supporting someone going through loss, as well as her own personal experience with this challenge. As a seasoned person-centered expressive arts therapist who has worked with those dealing with traumatic loss and bereavement, I feel enthusiastic about her literary contribution and believe it to be a great resource for those working with loss, grief, and bereavement, especially those using expressive arts therapy.
Claudia Coenen's insightful and compassionate book The Creative Toolkit is a treasure trove of current perspectives on grief, creative ideas and exercises, and useful resources for practitioners who work with grieving clients. As a psychotherapist specializing in grief, I am eager to explore her marvelously creative exercises with my clients. Her book is a blessing!
Claudia Coenen's latest book is an excellently organized, highly informative resource on grief and the experience of loss that is a valuable resource to all practitioners in the healing professions. The first portion of the book provides an easily understandable overview of how grief touches our lives in a myriad of ways, how different and universal the grief journey is, and how creativity can help the grieving individual find his or her own way of transforming their experience of loss into new ways of being and relating to the world. The second portion of the book provides hands on, easily accessible ways that we as practitioners can expand outside of traditional verbal therapies to offer our clients ways to tap into their creative energy to help themselves heal and grow. As a clinical psychologist who sees clients with a wide variety of different concerns, I found that Coenen's toolkit has applicability and usefulness for many of these individuals, regardless of whether they are seeking support for a specific loss that he or she has experienced.
This exceptionally thoughtful and practical book belongs on the shelf of anyone who works with bereaved people, which sooner or later is anyone in a helping profession. Coenen supplies us with a wealth of therapeutic tools grounded in theory, supported by research, and presented within a cohesive treatment approach. This is a book that will inspire experienced grief counselors and those who are new to the field to explore the rich potential of art, movement and other creative paths to healing from loss.