Creative and arts therapy

Creative and arts therapy targeted support programmes could include art, music and drama.

Creative and arts therapies include art, music, drama, and dance movement therapy. The aim of creative and arts therapies is to use creative expression to enable psychological change and to achieve therapeutic goals.

Arts therapies are regulated in the UK. Art therapy, music therapy, and dramatherapy are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Dance movement psychotherapy is regulated by the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). 

Creative and arts therapy targeted support programmes focus on tapping into students' creativity to explore emotions, develop self-awareness, and build resilience.

The aim of these programmes is to enhance students' emotional wellbeing, facilitate positive self-expression, and contribute to their overall academic and personal growth.

These programmes may consist of weekly sessions of collaborative or individual painting, writing, dancing and other forms of creative expression, under the guidance of a specialist or trained staff member.

Please note: creative and arts therapies targeted support programmes did not meet the inclusion criteria for the NICE evidence reviews.


Programme information

  • Length: Weekly sessions over 8-12 weeks
  • Delivered by: Arts therapists (music, drama, art & dance), trained teachers
  • Delivery method: Face-to-face
  • Age: 5-15 years

Targeted support programmes

The British Association of Art Therapists' directory is a good place to start to find appropriately qualified art therapists. They also offer CPD training and courses for school and college staff. 

To find out more about creative and arts therapies and how to access them, visit Mind's website.

There may also be other creative therapy services and programmes available in your local area. Contact your local authority to find out what is available to your school or college.

If you are unsure who to contact at your local authority, try speaking to your Mental Health Support Team (if applicable), your trust leadership team, or your setting’s safeguarding or pastoral lead. 

If you haven’t yet reviewed the targeted support guide, this will help you to consider which types of targeted support might be appropriate for your setting.

What does the evidence show?

Related pages

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