Jane Moss's Writing in bereavement is a breath of fresh air... At every stage she reflects back on the theory of bereavement support, whilst giving examples of work that might be produced, and how the facilitator may respond. Creating space to reflect by both the facilitator and the participants is the key word, and Moss gives plenty of support and advice on how to approach this.
This book is a useful addition to the literature and will be of great interest to therapeutic practitioners and creative writers alike... Readers who are not already familiar with the literature of therapeutic writing will find themselves gently guided through the principles and practices.
When someone we love dies we lose, not only a person "out there", but an organising principle of our assumptive world, the world that, up to that moment, we had taken for granted. Grief is not about forgetting the dead, it is about discovering a new narrative, a new source of meaning to our lives. Jane Moss here shows us a way of helping bereaved people to do just that. It gives us a choice of techniques and suggestions, exercises and insights, that are well supported by research and which we can adapt to the particular needs of individuals at this turning point in their lives.
Here is a wealth of ideas and inspiration for those of us aspiring to work creatively with bereaved people using the written word. I found my creative juices begin to flow as I read the ideas for the exercises and how to use them. These will be of enormous benefit for those wanting to start working in this way and will provide added incentive and encouragement for those who already use creative tools. I could use the ideas not only with the bereaved person but also with volunteer supporters in their supervision. The example of the fictional Greenbank writing group will be of special interest to those who want to offer support groups for bereaved people and there is much practical help offered for setting up such a group. I am sure this will prove to be a truly useful volume to have for reference and advice for those of us working in the field of bereavement support and counselling.
Moss helps mourners reach deeply into the wordless silence at the heart of grief, and render what they discover in language that is resonant with meaning and emotion. From acrostics to villanelles, and from the opening group warm-up to the final wind-down, she scaffolds a structure for Writing in Bereavement that fosters continuity and connection in life narratives rewritten by the experience of loss. Whether you work with bereavement support groups or in the intimate crucible of grief therapy, you will find in this book an indispensable muse to your clinical creativity.
Bereavement can be a dark and lonely place. This book shows how writing in groups can help bereaved people to find companionship and to begin to map out their own paths through this alien landscape. The book is thoroughly researched and offers a clear and systematic toolkit for professionals. On top of this, it is an engaging read that should leave readers feeling inspired to try this approach within their own work.