Co-creative songwriting for bereavement support

Lee Cheatley, Margareta Ackerman, Alison Pease, Wendy Moncur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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Self-expression is essential to processing our thoughts and feelings and is central to successful mental health therapy. Art therapy provides a wider range of expressive mechanisms than offered through traditional approaches, allowing individuals to process their emotions when traditional therapies prove unsuccessful. Yet, effective expression through art therapy may call on a level of artistic experience that is not available to all. As such, a lack of expertise or comfort with artistic expression may hinder one’s ability to receive needed mental health support. Creative machines can offer novel therapeutic approaches by offloading the need for creative expertise and opening up creative self-expression to those who lack the corresponding experience. In this paper, we focus on bereavement, and explore 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 several case studies. In addition, we discuss the utility of co-creative systems to the therapeutic context with potential application to a broad range of therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computational Creativity
EditorsF. Amilcar Cardoso, Penousal Machado, Tony Veale, Joao Miguel Cunha
Place of PublicationPortugal
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2020
EventInternational Conference on Computational Creativity - Online due to Covid
Duration: 7 Sept 202011 Oct 2020
Conference number: 11


ConferenceInternational Conference on Computational Creativity
Abbreviated titleICCC'20


  • self expression
  • art therapy
  • songwriting
  • computationally creative systems


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