Expressive Arts Therapy Group Helps Improve Mood State in an Acute Care Psychiatric Setting by Grace Chiu, Janine Hancock, and Andrea Waddell
This book explores the use of a well-known projective drawing technique, Draw a Person in the Rain, in combination with a follow-up exercise I created called Draw a Person in the Rain with Changes. I sometimes refer to the combination of the two as the two-part exercise. I used this exercise with male adolescent offenders in open and closed custody facilities order to help me understand their personality traits and defensive blocking styles more quickly.
When I came to work at the open custody facility for juvenile offenders I knew that I would be working with a notoriously defensive, resistant population with whom I would only be allowed to spend half an hour a week for a few weeks or, at most, a few months. Therefore, I felt that it would be beneficial, to both myself and the young offenders, to use a tool that could help reveal quickly what lay beneath the defenses they manifested. By achieving this, I hoped to be able to improve the self-awareness of the youths before they left custody and returned to the difficult environments from which they had come in order to give them a better chance to avoid re-offending.
Over the years when I used this two-part exercise, I rarely asked the youth to do the drawings in a systematic, “scientific, or methodological” way. For instance, some of the drawings were done on very large pieces of paper, others were done on small pieces, and in a few cases both drawings were done on one sheet. I also let the youth choose…
Abstract: The objective of this research is to investigate whether an Open Studio-Based Expressive Arts Therapy Group has an impact on the mood of hospital psychiatric inpatients in an acute care setting. Patients participating in a weekly Expressive Arts Therapy Group completed the Profile on Mood States Brief (POMS-B) form to assess mood states before and after group participation. In addition, a true and false questionnaire was given to participants post-group to gather information about their individual experiences. Thirty-six patients participated in the study. Participation in the group was significantly associated with a reduction in the POMS-B Total Mood Disturbance score, consistent with a decrease in negative mood states (POMS-B t(35)= 4.06003, p < .05).