Multimodal Expressive Arts in School Counseling: A Strength-based Intervention Program for Academic Underachievers in Secondary Schools
Publication in refereed journal
Officially Accepted for Publication


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AbstractExpressive arts therapy has seldom been evaluated as an intervention for underachieving adolescents. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an intervention program that used a multimodal expressive arts therapy approach to assist underachieving secondary school students. A six-session multimodal expressive arts program that adopted a strength-based and insight-oriented approach was developed, based on the Expressive Therapies Continuum framework. A total of 14 underachievers in secondary schools joined the program. The qualitative data were analyzed using a grounded theory methodology. Two themes emerged from the students’ artwork, their reflections, and teachers’ feedback: conflict (inferiority and helplessness) and defense mechanisms (indifference and sloppiness). The need for understanding and social support also recurred as a theme in the students’ art pieces and reflections across the sessions. Quantitative data indicated an increase in behavioral and emotional engagement by the end of the program. The students’ indifferent attitude toward the issue of underachieving was articulated consciously and led to greater self-reflection. Limitations of this study, including the lack of a comparison group, are presented. It is recommended that counselors who use the program described in this study are well equipped on knowledge basis and open-minded in responding to students’ artwork.
Acceptance Date16/05/2020
All Author(s) ListSiu A.F.Y., Chan A.H.C
Journal nameAsia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy
Year2020
ISSN2150-7686
eISSN2150-7708
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsExpressive arts, School counseling, Academic underachievers

Last updated on 2020-27-11 at 23:49