Case Studies

Chula’s Mobile Arts Therapy group

Many people who have experienced crisis events do not initially consider seeking mental health treatment. The stigma around therapy can prevent people from seeking help for the psychological effects of trauma. In Thailand and other countries, there is a belief that seeking therapy means a person is “crazy” or weak. It is important for societal attitudes towards mental health treatment to change in order to make it more accessible and acceptable for those in need. To address this problem the Mobile Arts Therapy (MAT) group from Chulalongkorn University collaborate with Bangkok University, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Srinakarinwirot University and artists from the James H.W. Thomson Foundation uses art to help people cope with and respond to crisis events. By using art as a means of communication and expression, the MAT group aims to provide support and a sense of connection and community to those who have experienced traumatic events. The use of art in therapy can be a powerful tool for helping people to process their emotions and experiences and can be especially useful in situations where traditional forms of therapy may not be as accessible or acceptable. The MAT group’s efforts to use art as a means of addressing the mental health needs of those affected by crisis events is an innovative approach that can help to break down the stigma around seeking therapy and make it more accessible and acceptable for those in need.

Source: John Lloyd Gordovez 
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“Creative Arts Therapy” is a form of therapy that uses various artistic mediums, such as theatre, music, movement, and visual art, as a way for people to express and understand their emotions and experiences. It involves a three-way interchange between the participant or group, the artistic creation, and the therapist, and aims to help people resolve emotional difficulties, gain self-awareness, and grow personally through creativity. Drama, visual arts, and music can be particularly useful for helping people communicate emotions that are difficult to put into words. Creative Arts Therapy can help restore emotional control and emphasizes the process of therapy rather than just the end result. The MAT group has used “Creative Arts Therapy” to support people affected by various crisis events in Thailand, including the Korat Shooting, the 2011-2012 flood crisis, and the Nong Bua Lamphu Shooting. It has also been used to help people who have experienced child sexual abuse in Thailand.

Participants in the MAT group’s “Creative Arts Therapy” programs have reported a reduction in stress and anxiety and an increased sense of community after participating in the activities. The MAT group hopes to further refine and tailor their models to the needs and expectations of survivors of future crisis events, as “Creative Arts Therapy” can provide a way for trauma survivors to begin talking about their experiences.

Chulalongkorn University and the University of Haifa are planning to launch the country’s first graduate degree in Creative Arts Therapy at Chulalongkorn University, which will give students the opportunity to learn more about the field and gain specialized training.


  • Faculty of Fine and Applied Art, Chulalongkorn University
  • The FAA – Emili Sagol Creative Arts Research and Innovation for Well-being Center @ Chulalongkorn University (CARIW)

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