Approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, yet this remains a taboo topic and effective aftercare is rarely available for women who have suffered pregnancy loss. "Grief Unseen" explores the experience of miscarriage and the process of healing, offering a practical introduction to the medium of art as an aid in coming to terms with loss. An established art therapist and mental health counselor, Seftel shares her own experiences of miscarriage and recovery with the reader and provides uplifting accounts of the lives and creative work of well-known women who have survived pregnancy loss, including Frida Kahlo, Judy Chicago and Tori Amos. She describes the use of art and ritual as a response to loss in traditional cultures, and illustrates how these practices have been translated into modern Western cultures, through communities built either in person or via the Internet. The book also explains the various kinds of miscarriage, such as failed in vitro fertilization, ectopic pregnancy and stillbirth, and examines the emotional impact of each on women and their families.
The second part of the book offers a wealth of practical creative exercises, using step-by-step processes to guide individuals, couples and groups through their creative responses. These exercises are suitable even for those with no previous artistic experience and are accompanied by an array of high-quality artwork examples. "Grief Unseen" will be an accessible and uplifting resource for women and families who have suffered pregnancy loss, and will be of great interest to practitioners in the fields of mental health and health care as well as art therapists and counselors.
Foreword. Introduction. PART I: Background Information. 1. My Story: Like Ink on a White Blouse. 2. Losing a Dream. 3. Singing the Silence. 4. Art as Therapy/Art as Ritual. 5. Lost Traditions: Butter, Toads and Miracles. 6. New Rituals: The Creative Response. PART II: Making it Visible: Creative Exercises. 7. Creating Your Own Healing Practice through the Arts. 8. Creative Exercises. 9. Conclusion. References and Resources.