Thesis Title

Grant Proposal for A Children's Bereavement Art Group

Graduation Date

Summer 1995

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Tobi Garelick of Hospice by the Bay seeks $3500.00 from the Bank of America Corporation for an art therapy support group for bereaved children. The support group will last for 5 months and consist of 10 biweekly sessions.

An art therapy support group for bereaved children allows children a brief opportunity to feel the normalcy of grief by being with other children going through the same experience. It also allows children to express their unspeakable emotions through the use of art and play. Art can be a catalyst to draw out distressing emotions in children who already use art as a language for communication and expression. Children suffering from loss need to be able to express their grief and know that grief is a normal life process. Through this process they learn to accept loss and are able to cope later in life with other losses. Parent(s) and family are not always equipped to explain death to children or to know how to grieve. A support group is a way for a child to learn about death in a safe environment and express their fears and frustrations.

This grant proposal is inspired by the successful Children's Bereavement Art Group at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, California. Children's Bereavement Art Group is a successful program which began in 1985 by art therapist Peggy Gulshen to address the pressing problems related to grief in our community-at-large.