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Positive Arts Interventions: Creative Tools Helping Mental Health Students Flourish

  • Olena Helen DarewychEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Throughout history, the arts such as dancing, drumming, painting, and storytelling have been used by humans as healing practices and creative means to express life experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Due to the natural evolution of the human capacity for creative expression, contemporary expressive arts therapists integrate creative interventions in their clinical practice to support the cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual well-being of clients. Expressive arts therapists who take on the role as educators commonly implement creative interventions in their active learning classrooms for mental health students to express and tangibly represent positive psychology concepts such as creativity, goals, strengths, and life meaning. This chapter provides an overview of the expressive arts therapies and presents action-oriented positive arts interventions that enable higher education mental health students to foster self-reflection and personal drivers in order to flourish as future mental health practitioners. Specifically, the aim is to highlight the extent towards which positive arts interventions could be employed to form cultural identity, identify character strengths, gain insight into creative self-care interests, and examine career anchors. Such positive arts interventions help students become self-aware and culturally-sensitive mental health practitioners in our pluralistic society. The chapter includes case examples illustrating the integration of the arts in higher educational settings.

Keywords

Expressive arts therapies Multicultural sensitive Positive arts Positive arts interventions Positive psychology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the higher education mental health students who consented to including their artwork with written associations for this publication.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adjunct FacultyMartin Luther University College—Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

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