Creative grief support for groups

Amber and Julee sitting in front of the memory tree on the wall of their space.

Today’s conversation is with Creative Grief Support alumni, Julee Gell and Amber Jacoby of the in Tucson, AZ who have launched a creative grief support group program called Creative Grief Exploration 101. They are offering their group twice a year.

Click here for MP3.

Highlights of our conversation about group grief support:

We talk a lot in this creative conversation about the creativity of both creating and implementing services around grief experiences. Julee and Amber shared some of these highlights:

  • What is it like in terms of the art of your business as a practitioner to shift from one-on-one work to group work and launch a new program?
  • Collaboration is key to development of this kind of heARTwork.
  • Thinking through the set up of a new program.
  • How the personal experiences of grief and creativity inform what we do professionally as practitioners.
  • How do you self-assess after implementation? What does it mean and how does it work to honestly ask yourself as a practitioner what works and what doesn’t work?
  • Learning curve of how to hold the structure of a group.
  • Surprises from allowing activities to unfold and evolve based on what participants bring to the discussions.
  • Fostering community, connection, belonging.
  • Not holding yourself “apart” as an “expert” but rather being part of the connections.
  • Using the tools they created while getting their certification here at The Creative Grief Studio.
  • Closing ceremonies and creating community with the Remembering Tree and alumni opportunities for future connections.
  • Allowing creativity to keep influencing ongoing development of your creative programs.
  • See for more about their work.

About Julee

Julee Gell, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in Tucson, AZ where she specializes in grief and loss. She completed the Creative Grief Support course in June 2017 and became certified in September. Julee’s own personal grief work, primarily around the death of her sister Mckay, drew her to the field of grief and loss therapy nearly 30 years ago. Julee is passionate about helping people grieve wholeheartedly, honor their losses and reclaim their lives. She provides both psychotherapy and coaching to individuals and groups. Julee also offers the group “Helping Parents Heal” for parents who are estranged from their adult children.”

About Amber

Amber Jacoby is a Certified Creative Grief Support Practitioner through Creative Grief Studio. Amber has been offering creative grief support facilitation for over 20 years. Amber’s personal work was greatly impacted by the sudden death of her husband in 2009 which shattered the foundations and led her to exploring the combination of not-so-traditional models of grief support along with traditional models that might be inspiring and hold more value for those who are grieving. She proudly serves as an executive board member for TuNidito Children and Family Services. She is part of a facilitator team offering Soul Restoration retreats through Beautiful You, a partner with Brave Living International, and with Girls Scouts of Southern Arizona co-leading Authoring Your Own Life women’s retreats. Additionally, Amber is Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and has worked with hundreds of families at end of life and those experiencing grief.


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