The Secret Club: Art as a Healing for Pregnancy Loss and Infertility
The Secret Club: Art as a healing for pregnancy loss and infertility
I have been doing work with many women experiencing different challenges with women's issues and challenges with child bearing. As I was searching for resources I came across the book Grief Unseen: Healing Pregnancy Loss Through the Arts. In it, author Laura Seftel talks about how she used art as a means to heal after losing her first child to miscarriage in 1993. That process inspired her to create a group for women and families who experienced pregnancy loss or infertility.
The group was penned the Secret Club and grew into an award-winning international project featuring artists exploring infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth. The project then became the catalyst for her book.
In Grief Unseen, Seftel writes: “How difficult it is to fully grieve a loss we cannot see, and yet this is a loss, a milestone that must be acknowledged. The artists’ ability and courage to bring form to an experience that seems to defy words is relevant for us all. They teach us, whether we count ourselves as artists or not, that the creative process offers up a profound form of healing and helps us make meaning of unbearable losses.”
As an art therapist, I have witnessed first hand how art can be used as a tool to process grief and/or create rituals to honor all the different types of loss. The act of making art gives people a physical place to put their emotions and express them at different intensities.
There’s also been published research that has shown that through simple visual self-expression, stress, anxiety, and hopelessness may be reduced in those experiencing infertility specifically.
Although it’s tailored more towards mental health professionals, you can read the book online here: Grief Unseen: Healing Pregnancy Loss Through the Arts. Check out the Facebook page for the Secret Club Project here. There’s some beautiful artwork on the site.
If you are struggling with any form of challenges related to women's issues or challenges with child bearing, art therapy may be a good fit for you.
Do good and be well,