Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on



Paul R. Springer

Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Creativity in Mental Health 1:3&4 (2005), pp. 185-204. doi: 10.1300/J456v01n03_12 Published simultaneously in Thelma Duffey, ed., Creative Interventions in Grief and Loss Therapy: When the Music Stops, a Dream Dies (Haworth, 2005). Copyright © 2005 The Haworth Press. Used by permission.


Individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder (COD) present unique challenges for counselors. When individuals are incarcerated, they suffer unique forms of losses, including the loss and grief of their family members. In addition, they often struggle with stigma and cultural stereotypes that are oppressive and devastating. The purpose of this manuscript is to help counselors and clients access creativity in a manner that facilitates client self-disclosure about grief and loss related issues, leading to a more coherent personal narrative, increased social integration, and enhanced psychological and physiological health.