Musical creativity support tools for bereavement support

Cheatley, Lee and Ackerman, Margareta and Pease, Alison and Moncur, Wendy (2022) Musical creativity support tools for bereavement support. Digital Creativity, 33 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1462-6268 (

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Self-expression is central to mental well-being and mental health therapy. Art therapy offers a wide range of expressive mechanisms, allowing individuals to process their emotions when traditional therapies prove unsuccessful. However, a lack of expertise or comfort with artistic expression, along with cost and waiting times, may hinder one’s ability to receive needed mental health support. Creative machines can offer novel therapeutic approaches enabling the bereaved to engage in creative expression as and when needed. In this paper, we apply a co-creative songwriting system, ALYSIA, as a new form of therapy for those who had recently suffered the loss of a loved one. We evaluate the utility of this creative system in aiding bereaved individuals through user testing. The utility of collaborative creative systems for adaptation to bereavement is discussed and may have implications for other therapeutic applications.