Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Meg Chang


A quarter of the U.S. adult population is disabled. Current expressive therapies’ approaches are rooted in a medical-interventionist model of disability over a social model of disability. In utilizing the connection between disability arts and creative arts therapies, this capstone thesis explores the tools found within the field – such as photovoice – to examine the impact of hierarchy in therapeutic spaces. Mental health practices are also often rooted in individualistic models of self-care, over community care. Through examining the practices of disabled art, music, and drama therapists, this literature review seeks to imagine new therapeutic spaces and realities for disabled clients. By utilizing liberation psychology and crip theory, disabled clinicians and clients alike, might rebuild expressive arts’ therapeutic practice to adapt to the imminent needs of multiple marginalized populations. Creative arts therapists must realign themselves as professionals allied to community over professionals allied to medicine. Without attending to these needs, creative arts therapists may continue to unintentionally perpetuate harm against clients as disabled clients are required to adjust to an ableist world. The Expressive Therapies can be re-shaped as a tool for empowerment.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License




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