Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Donna C. Owens


Expressive therapies and spirituality treatments have often been applied to people with trauma experiences. Previous research has found positive outcomes in these clinical practices. However, little research has been done to evaluate their effectiveness in helping traumatized participants in social movements. In 2019, there was a series of large-scale protests in Hong Kong resulting in many local political activists and protesters experiencing police violence and developing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. This critical literature review aims to explore, evaluate, and discuss the effectiveness of using expressive therapies with spirituality intervention to enhance the wellbeing of Hong Kong traumatized protesters. It begins by giving a historical context of the Hong Kong protests in 2019, then identifying the definitions of trauma to link with the experience of political activists, such as automatic psychological coping mechanisms of intrusion of dreams, flashback, nightmares, and numbing. Different expressive interventions, such as art, music, dance movement, psychodrama, drama, storytelling, internal family systems, mindfulness, and spirituality, which address human’s self-exploration and creative intelligence will be elaborated upon. The literature review suggests such interventions for traumatized people are promising. This paper finally discusses and proposes how to combine expressive therapies and spirituality interventions to strengthen the wellbeing of Hong Kong traumatized protesters.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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