Art Therapy Helps Those Who Are Grieving

Two participants talk about their projects at   "Fabric & Feelings," one of many Healing Arts Workshops offered to the community.  Anyone grieving the loss of a loved one is welcome to attend. (Photo by Bob Perkoski)  

Healing Arts Workshops offered by Western Reserve Grief Services help those who have lost loved ones to work through their grief. Anyone who is grieving the death of a loved one can participate. Most of the workshops are either free or suggest a very small donation to help cover the cost of art supplies. The program is funded by a generous grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

According to Mollie Borgione, the Board-Certified art therapist who leads the workshops, many people find it difficult to talk about the death of their loved ones. The workshops offer a safe, creative space to express feelings, providing comfort and healing on the grief journey.

“People often assume they must be good at drawing, painting or sculpting,” Borgione says. “Nothing could be further from the truth. In art therapy, the process of creating art is much more important than the resulting product. There are no judgements made of the art. It’s all about what the artist learned in their experience of creating.”

Borgione says the workshops are not only concerned with creativity, but also with the emotional, psychological, mental, physical and spiritual aspects of healing. “While they are in the process of creating art, or when they have completed a piece, people discover feelings that were previously hidden,” she explains. “Grieving is a process that allows people to reconstruct the meaning of their lives following their loss.”

Consider Joan’s story: “After I experienced two losses in my family, I reached out for help and support,” Joan said. “I started going to the one of the Healing Arts Workshops, ‘Fabric and Feelings.’ I was interested in learning how to make a quilt in memory of my loved ones. I started working on a few quilt ideas, but I needed an easier project to begin with. It was then that I was given patterns to make stuffed bears. I sewed together three small bears that same day! It felt so good to start and complete a project.”

Joan says creating the bears out of clothing brought her comfort and healing. “It has helped me work through the strong emotions of grieving. I enjoy meeting at ‘Fabric and Feelings’ with other people who have also experienced a loss. I can talk about my thoughts and feelings openly while focusing on a project and setting a goal to complete it. I feel accepted and encouraged to move through my grief.” 

For a full listing of Healing Arts Workshops, visit the website at, or call  Western Reserve Grief Services at  216.486.6838.

Laurie Henrichsen

Public and Media Relations Manager

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 5:31 PM, 02.05.2020