The teenage years are difficult. Torn between childhood and adulthood, even in the best of times, teens face incredible challenges and difficult issues. Things can get even more difficult when a teen loses a loved one because while teens understand the concept of death, they have little experience with it and lack the coping skills to deal with it. While a teen may have a deep emotional response to the death of a loved one, he or she may not know how to express those feelings and the teen’s desire to be independent may make them unable to receive support from parents or other adults.
Because of their inability to express themselves, one common behavior in grieving teens is a withdrawal from family, becoming disconnected from the world around them and/or isolating themselves.
One company has created an experimental app that the creators say may help teens work through some of the issues surrounding their grief via music. Flutter “uses music to help those experiencing the loss of a loved one – a period of time often resulting in high levels of isolation and incredibly difficult emotional problems – express themselves in a safe, positive environment, by creating sound artefacts that express how they feel at that moment,” according to the company website.
Flutter allows teens to swipe the touchscreen on their phone to create sounds and musical effects. “The basic idea of Flutter is to use music, which is a highly expressive tool, to help us express something else — in this case, the grief in our lives,” Flutter creator Alex Rothera said in an interview.
Flutter was developed in Italy by Rothera, Ivor Williams, Jacopo Atzori, and Aaron Gillett based on research conducted in collaboration with a psychologist. You can learn more about it here.
* * *
What do you think? Can this type of technology prove useful in the grieving process?