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Expressive Arts

Interventions in
School Counseling
SCED 516
Emily Lemons
Lewis & Clark College
“Creativity takes courage.” –Henri Matisse
What are Expressive Arts Interventions?

“Expressive arts [are] a conduit to


personal growth and
development.”

(Degges-White & Colon, 2015).


Why are Expressive Arts Interventions
Important?

“ The beauty of expressive arts is in their potential


for enhancing self-expression,
communication skills, cooperation,
problem-solving and creativity—all of
which are important counseling goals.”
(Vesler, 2013).
Why are Expressive Arts Interventions
Important?
● Accommodate multiple learning styles for all students
● Can be powerful when combined with other curriculums
(school-wide, classroom, guidance lessons, 1-on-1, and small groups)
● Demonstrate larger part of school vision through multiple
creative modalities

● Uses 40 Developmental Assets based on grade level

(Vesler, 2013).
How are they used in School Counseling?

ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors in the domains of


Academic, Social/Emotional, and Career Development can
be integrated into expressive arts interventions
through:

● Visual Arts
● Movement/Dance
● Drama/Play Therapy
● Music
● Writing/Narrative
How are they used in School Counseling?

Examples for Academic:


● Music aids in memory retention, reduces stress and
anxiety, and improves sleep quality (Baker, 2016).
● “Have students in a small group create a rap/song using
information they are learning in class. Discuss ways they
can use the song to study” (Veslor, 2013).
● Tracing hand and listing 5 goals, 1 goal for every finger to
help with classroom behavior
How are they used in School Counseling?

Examples for Career and College Readiness:


● Poem or drawing about “Who I am and What I like” (Veslor,
2013)
● Imagine a “Future Me” by setting goals, working toward this
vision (Degges-White & Colon, 2015).
How are they used in School Counseling?

Examples for Social/Emotional:


● Provide an underachieving student magaizines to pick out
images that represent their strengths for a collage (Veslor,
2013).
● Create a poem, collage, skit, or song lyrics to depict how their
lives relate to a character or theme in a story read (Velsor,
2013).
● Use toys/tools/figurines as “play therapy” to act out scenarios of
social/emotional topics
● Draw out feelings if having a hard time describing with words
How are they used in School Counseling?

Examples for Social/Emotional:


→ when applied to trauma:

“Trauma memories are sensory memories…meaning


that people feel them in their bodies and react with
their bodies.”

(National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, 2013)


How are they used in School Counseling?
Trauma-informed expressive art interventions are beneficial when processing and
reflecting emotions. Practicing different modalities of the expressive arts not only
provides visual satisfaction, but it can benefit the mind as well.

When highly sensory art experiences are used in a calm and


creative way, it engages the lower parts of the brain which are the
areas that have been over-worked by trauma. When these lower
regions are over-activated, there is a disconnect in the
image-based part of the brain;
moving into activities that require the higher cognitive areas can be difficult and
sometimes not possible until the trauma has been resolved (National Clearinghouse on
Families and Youth, 2013).
ACTIVITY!
In the next 8 minutes, write or draw with the
materials provided to answer to this question:

What does an ideal study


space look like for you?
What does an ideal study space look like for you?

1. Consider resources and necessary space for


different tasks
2. Consider learning style and sensory input:
● noise (hearing)
● lighting (sight)
● comfort (touch)
● distracting/desirable odors (smell)
● snacks for studying (taste)
What stuck with you?
references
Baker, D. (2016). The scientific benefits of music. Retrieved September 18, 2017 from

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/2016/03/scientific-benefits-music/

Degges-White, S., and Colon, B. (2015). Expressive arts interventions for school counselors.

New York: Springer Publishing Company.

National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth. (2013). Calm through creativity: how arts can

aid in trauma recovery. Retrieved from https://ncfy.acf.hhs.gov/book/export/html/17462

Veslor, P. (2013). Thinking creatively: expressive arts for counseling youth in schools. Retrieved

September 18, 2017 from


https://ct.counseling.org/2013/02/thinking-creatively-expressive-arts-for-counseling-youth-in-the-scho
ols/