Research suggests that the arts can have a positive impact on youth development, from birth through adolescence.
• To use art and creativity to help young people to learn techniques to heal.
• Through the experience of Expressive Arts Therapy, the youth’s individuality and self-esteem are supported and enhanced.
• For at-risk and justice-involved youth, the arts can provide an outlet for addressing emotional and/or problem behaviours through opportunities to learn new skills, develop new talents, and express thoughts and ideas in creative and therapeutic ways.
“Creating art can strengthen a youth’s problem-solving skills, autonomy, sense of purpose, and social competence. Moreover, art can help encourage positive emotions and strength, allowing youth to view themselves as survivors and not as victims.” (Van Westrhenen and Fritz 2014).