Storymaking in Bereavement: Dragons Fight in the Meadow

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9781853021763: Storymaking in Bereavement: Dragons Fight in the Meadow

Myths and related stories describe essential human experience which, requiring the use of the imagination, reconcile and give voice to fantasy and reality. In this book the author reflects on the processes of grief and more than 50 folk tales are included. The ancient stories vividly convey mankind's struggle with death and loss, the despair and hope, with bitterness and love. The use of stories in therapy is explained, specifically bereavement counselling through storymaking.

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About the Author:

Alida Gersie is a London-based dramatherapist and organizational consultant. Her work with deprived individuals and communities inspired her to develop a story-based method that facilitates productive change in seemingly hopeless situations. For several decades she was Principal Lecturer in the Postgraduate Arts Therapies Department of the University of Hertfordshire. She has taught the story-based approach to planned change in many countries, and has authored and edited several books, including Reflections on Therapeutic Storymaking: The Uses of Stories in Groups, Dramatic Approaches to Brief Therapy, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dramatherapy, Storymaking in Bereavement: Dragons Fight in the Meadow and Storymaking in Education and Therapy, and published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Review:

Gersie is intuitive, sensitive and wise as she guides her readers into the territory of bereavement, love and loss... Each storymaking structure is exciting and brimming with potential... Alida Gersie has succeeded in brilliantly finding ways to empower individuals coming to grips with mortality... her work Storymaking in Bereavement: Dragons in the Meadow empowers us as helping professionals. Now we have a tool that gives us a little more courage compassion and insight so that we too are better armed to fight dragons in the meadow. (The Arts in Psychotherapy)

This is a fascinating book which may reunite readers with stories of their childhood and provide new insights into their meaning. It presents an innovative approach to bereavement counselling which reflects the wise counsel of some of the original story tellers and the oral tradition which we have lost. There are poignant stories and no avoidance of "difficult" feelings encountered during the grief process. This book is a delight to read on account of its descriptive qualities. It is also a source, in an accessible form, of a wealth of information. It addresses an area which is of concern to all occupational therapists. (British Journal of Occupational Therapy)

This is an erudite, imaginative book by an author who is deeply involved in her topic and is an enjoyable and absorbing read. The book would be of value to course leaders and students on courses covering loss, separation and divorce, abortion, terminal illness and death and to anyone who gives support to the dying and bereaved. (Nursing Times)

This book is beautifully written. It is immensely rich in its use of story, metaphor and literary allusion to illustrate the process of grief and healing... moving and deeply compassionate. In addition to its overt theme, a book which touches its reader so deeply provides a subtle lesson in how a counsellor may allow herself to be deeply touched by her client. (Counselling)

Anyone interested in story as a form of therapy or in bereavement or the existential adaption to the idea of death will find this book overflowing with exciting concepts and powerful healing images... There is a well constructed balance between psychological conception and folk story in this book. This material is a rich collection of ideas which can be used in both the classroom and the counselor's office. (Religious Studies Review)

... enchanting account of the use of creative-expressive therapies in helping us accept the finality of death and the toll it takes on those who are left to mourn... For those who work in creative and expressive therapies, this book is an important addition to the literature. The heart of the presentation - the stories we can tell, and have told for hundreds of centuries, about grief over death - lies at the core of human experience. (Medical Humanities Review)

The author's wide knowledge and understanding of myths and folklore is cleverly woven within each "Part" of the book... It links the past with the present, acts as a bridge between cultures, and helps us focus on profound issues... Storymaking in Bereavement is a book to be read and re-read and to be dipped into, as each chapter contains much wisdom. (Lifeline (Magazine of the National Association of Bereavement Services))

Professional bereavement counsellors and group facilitators will find the book stimulating and resourceful, while teachers in palliative care will certainly find some valuable educational material in it. (Palliative Medicine)

... extremely readable, and easy to follow, and would be a delight for anyone to dip into. (Behavioural Social Work Review)

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