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Art and wellness: expressive arts as therapy in the Pacific context

Latai, Leua and McDonald, Lex (2020) Art and wellness: expressive arts as therapy in the Pacific context. In: It takes an Island and an Ocean. Institute of Education (IOE), The University of the South Pacific, Tonga Campus, Tonga, pp. 99-112. ISBN 978-982-9173-54-6

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    Expressive arts have been used for therapeutic purposes for centuries, and today therapists use the arts to heal a range of recognised psychological problems. Many of the current commentaries and research reports have been concerned with children, adolescents, and adults who have been traumatised. However, there is minimal robust research and investigation into the efficacy of impacts and therefore detailed descriptions of programmes are needed. In this case study, a Sāmoan “art as therapy” programme is briefly outlined along with the research describing the outputs and outcomes. This was designed to assist 177 children traumatised by a tsunami in 2009. Using different modes of the arts, the children displayed their sorrow, disbelief, and anguish initially; then, as the programme developed, a noticeable improvement in mood was detected. Almost all of the children indicated that it was a beneficial programme. In addition to this, an evaluation study some years later indicated the worth of the programme as a means that provided immediate and long-term coping strategies. The implications, recommendations, and limits of the programme and research are discussed.

    Item Type: Book Chapter
    Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
    N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > Institute of Education
    Depositing User: Afuafu Kautoke
    Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2020 15:41
    Last Modified: 09 Sep 2020 15:41

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