Therapeutic Interventions through Creative Arts

MQF Level: 7

ECTS Value: 4 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 48

Contact Hours: 20

Assessment Hours: 32

Duration: 8 sessions


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module is designed to support the learner in cultivating the knowledge, skills and competences needed by the therapeutic practitioner working with young adults exhibiting divergent behaviours. Its main objective is to equip them with the capacity to adeptly establish meaningful relationships and interactions by the means of various creative arts modalities (e.g. drama, music, art, dance/movement etc). The prospective learner following this module will have the opportunity to grow holistically through various theoretical and creative arts-based lectures and immersive individual and collaborative experiential workshops. Thus, through a series of pedagogical approaches, the learner will be supported to cultivate a heightened self-awareness, imaginative skills and sharpen their intuitive abilities. On the completion of this module, the learner will have gained the ability to discern and embrace their role as creative practitioners, thereby nurturing an inclination to harness creative modalities in their endeavours to effectively engage with young adults characterized by multifaceted behavioural patterns.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Evaluate various creative art modalities, arts techniques, artists, and art practitioners. Critically assess the significance of employing such modalities within a therapeutic session aimed at young adults who exhibit divergent behaviours;

b. Cultivate a heightened sense of self-awareness, foster own imagination and nurture their creative abilities through an active involvement with a diverse range of creative arts modalities;

c. Carry out an initial value free creative assessment and collaborate with experienced therapists to tailor their approach to support young adults  within their sphere of care;

d. Ensure that the highest standards of ethical practice are maintained whilst planning and implementing creative arts strategies for the young adults in own care;

e. Facilitate therapeutic sessions employing creative arts as a means to connect with and provide support to young adults under their own care;

f. Empower young adults in the exploration of their own creative selves by incorporating several creative arts modalities and techniques to foster a meaningful and repairing  connection with their own creative selves;

g. Design and implement scaffolding strategies to effectively cultivate a feeling of autonomy and safe environment within the therapeutic sessions held for own learners in their own care.


a. Identify various modalities, techniques and professionals pertaining to the creative arts industry and how they can support individuals and communities;

b. Describe the various cultural and psychological theoretical underpinnings that lead to the tension between creativity and destructiveness in an individual;

c. Identify various arts based and psychological theories (psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, humanistic etc) that inform various creative expressive modalities used in the therapeutic relationship with the students;

d. Demonstrate knowledge of how the scaffolding strategies in the development of the therapeutic sessions encourage a sense of independence and safety when assisting young adults with behavioural manifestations;

e. Understand the importance of knowing and following ethical standards when working with young adults with divergent behaviours and sharing their work with other supporting professionals;

f. Identify local festivals and funding opportunities that will support the learner in creating creative projects for young adults in own care.


a. Differentiate and evaluate diverse practitioners (e.g. Boal) and modalities (e.g. Forum theatre) within the realm of expressive arts, thus, choosing the most appropriate modalities for the young adults in their own care;

b. Critically analyse both local and international art Practitioners from various artistic backgrounds with regards to their art-based methodologies and ascertain their applicability in fostering the well- being of young adults exhibiting divergent behaviours;

c. Analyse the complex relationship between psychological theories and the creative expressive process;

d. Explain the importance of discussing, liaising and conducting a thorough art-based assessment of the young adults with own care prior to embarking on the utilization of creative arts intervention;

e. Abide by and apply ethical standards within own practice to engage young adults exhibiting divergent behaviours;

f. Delineate the logistical prerequisites which are crucial for planning and facilitating a creative arts therapeutic session in conjunction with other stakeholders when needs;

g. Facilitate an innovative creative arts therapeutic session, incorporating psychological foundations, safety protocols, and ethical considerations, to provide a holistic support to young adults on own care.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed through: Presentation – Preparation of Creative Session, Experiential Session – Carrying out creative arts therapeutic session and Individual Reflective Journal.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Boal A. (2002). 2nd ed. Games for Actors and Non-Actors. London: Routledge.
  2. Chesner ., Iykou, S., (2020) Trauma in the Creative and Embodied Therapies. When Words are Not Enough. Routledge.
  3. Dokter, D., Holloway, P., & Seebohm, H. (Eds.). (2011). Dramatherapy and destructiveness: Creating the evidence base, playing with Thanatos. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
  4. Freire, P. (1996) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, trans. M. Bergman Ramos, Harmondsworth. Penguin.#
  5. Health Ministry, Malta. (2019). A mental health strategy for Malta 2020–2030. Https:// Retrieved June 4, 2023.
  6. Kuppers, P., (2019). 2nd Community Performance- An introduction. Routledge.
  7. Levine, S. (2019). Philosophy of Expressive Arts. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  8. D,. (2022) Myth of normal: Trauma, illness & healing in a toxic culture. S.l.: VERMILION.
  9. Thompson, J., (1999 ). Drama Workshops for Anger management and Offending behaviour. Jessica Kingsley.
Supplementary Reading List
  1. Bettelheim.,B. (2010). The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. Vintage Publisher.
  2. Boal, A. (1979) Theatre of the Oppressed, trans. C. and M.-O. Leal McBride.London: Pluto Press.
  3. Boal, A. (1995) The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy, trans. A. Jackson London: Routledge.
  4. Djurichkovic, A. (2011). Art in Prisons: A Literature Review of the Philosophies and Impacts of Visual Arts Programs for Correctional Populations. Salisbury East, QLD: Arts Access Australia.
  5. Emunah, R., (2002). (2nd edition) Acting for Real. Drama Therapy Process, Technique, and Performance.
  6. Ezell, M., & Levy, M. (2003). An Evaluation of an Arts Program for Incarcerated Juvenile Offenders. Journal of Correctional Education, 54, 108-114.
  7. Gallery, D., (2002). Through the body. A practical guide to physical theatre.
  8. Gardstrom, S. C. (1999). Music Exposure and Criminal behavior: Perceptions of Juvenile Offenders. Journal of Music Therapy, 36, 207-221.
  9. Gersie, A,. and King, K,. (1990). Storymaking in Education and Therapy. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  10. Grundtvig EU Project (2006) Forum theatre Step by Step. Play and change. MALTA.
  11. Gussak, D. (2004). Art Therapy with Prison Inmates: A Pilot Study. Arts in Psychotherapy, 31, 245-259.
  12. Gussak, D. (2009). Comparing the Effectiveness of Art Therapy on Depression and Locus of Control of Male and Female Inmates. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 36, 202-207.
  13. Halprin, D. (2008). The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy: working with movement, metaphor and meaning. London: JKP.
  14. Hartz, L,. et al, (2005). Art Therapy Strategies to Raise Self-Esteem in Female Juvenile Offenders: A Comparison of Art Psychotherapy and Art as Therapy Approaches. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 22(2) pp. 70-80 .
  15. Jennings, S., (1995). Dramatherapy with children and adolescents. Part 3-Dramatherapy with adolescents.
  16. Koiv,K,. and Kaudne (2015)Impact of Integrated Arts Therapy: An Intervention Program for Young Female Offenders in Correctional Institution. Psychology, 6, 1-9.
  17. Lahad, M., (1992). Story-Making in Assessment Method of Coping with Stress: Six Piece Story Making and BASIC Ph.
  18. Landy,R., (1996). 2nd Persona and performance. The meaning of role in drama, therapy, and everyday life. The Guildford press.
  19. Liesera, N., Et al (2020)Anger Among Adolescents in Juvenile Detention Centre: Art Therapy and Its Effects. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 439.Tarumanagara International Conference on the Applications of Social Sciences and Humanities.
  20. Leigh, L et al (2012) Dramatherapy with children, young people and Schools: enabling creativity, sociability, communication and learning. The role and relevance of dramatherapy in schools today. Routledge.
  21. Jennings,S. (Ed) Dramatherapy Theory and Practice Vol. 2 .London:. pp 150-163. Routledge.
  22. Marshall, L., (2001). The Body Speaks: Performance and Expression. United Kingdom: Methuen Publishing limited Available [Online] at
  23. McTaggart, K. (2010). Art Therapy and Young Offenders. Journal of Thai Traditional & Alternative Medicine, 8, 69-75.
  24. Mohamad, S. M. A. A.S., & Mohamad, Z. (2014). The Use of Expressive Arts Therapy in Understanding Psychological Issues of Juvenile Delinquency. Asian Social Science, 10, 144-161.
  25. Newham,P., (2000). Using Voice and Theatre in Therapy: The Practical Application of Voice Movement Therapy. Jessica Kingsley.
  26. Rio, R. E., & Tenney, K. S. (2002). Music Therapy for Juvenile Offenders in Residential Treatment. Music Therapy Perspectives, 20, 89-97.
  27. Sherborne, V., (2001).(2nd edition) Developmental Movement for Children. Worth Publishing.
  28. Sunderland,M., (2005). Using story telling as a therapeutic tool with children. Speechmark.
  29. Tyson, E. H. (2002). Hip-Hop Therapy: An Exploratory Study of a Rap Music Intervention with At-Risk and Delinquent Youth. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 15, 131-144.
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