The Evidence Portal

Providing opportunities for creative expression or outlet

Flexible activity

This activity involves the practice of creative expression or the facilitation of an outlet for creativity during program sessions. This can include provision for creative activities during program delivery such as drawing, creative writing, or performance.

Creative expression or outlet can assist with self-awareness, articulation of thoughts and feelings, and confidence. Regardless of the mode of creative expression, young people will learn to express their ideas, feelings or personality through creative forms.

How can it be implemented?

Creative expression or outlet is best facilitated in-person in group sessions.  Forms of creative expression can vary and include: music, poetry, drawing or painting, or crafts.

Facilitators should consider a balance of individual creative tasks that focus on the self-expression of the individual young person, and group creative tasks that encourage collaborative expression and peer-to-peer or group presentation.

Who is the target group?

This flexible activity has been implemented with a number of different target groups. Key characteristics include:

  • Ethnically diverse students aged 11-14 living in low socioeconomic public housing neighbourhoods
  • University students who do not have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia or Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or endorsed clinically significant levels of symptoms of anxiety, depression or eating disorders
  • 9-10th grade students, aged 14-16, from a diverse, medium-to-large-sized low-income public high school with substantial levels of conflict
  • Adolescent boys attending an alternative high school for students who struggled with behaviour problems in their traditional school

What programs conduct this activity?

  • In the Art from Ashes Phoenix Rising Poetry Workshops, youth work on their own poems and share their poems with the rest of the group. This pattern of writing and sharing was repeated three to six times per workshop. Youth then performed their work for their parents and community at the end of the workshop series.
  • In No program name: Coping skills, participants practiced expressive writing during sessions focused on managing stress.
  • During No program name: Incremental intervention, participants wrote and performed skits in response to scenarios involving rejection or conflict.
  • The Council for Boys and Young Men program included activities such as drawing to address topics such as unhealthy masculine identity norms, diversity, mentoring, friendships, goals and bullying.

Further resources

Last updated:

24 Nov 2022

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