#5 Inspiring Change by being Inspired By Change

In the Ted Talk ´How Great Leaders Inspire Action´, Simon Sinek speaks about how people are convinced of things – whether to buy into an idea, or to buy a product. His main idea, which he repeats over and
over, is ¨People don´t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.¨ Another big idea of the talk was ¨It’s those who start with ´why´ that have the ability to inspire those around them.¨ Both of these ideas are very applicable to what we are doing in What’s The Story. We look at ´why´ people need what we have, ´how´ we will go about it, and ´what´ will happen because of it.

It was not easy to find examples of social change in relation to social change, but I did find a few articles and reflections. One such article was from a Program and Policy Analysis from UCLA (Mental Health In Schools: Information Resource) The analysis began with this statement: “Research on the use of art therapy in schools is sparse. Advocates suggest it is an innovative way to help children who are manifesting learning or emotional problems. They stress that schools enable art therapy to be provided with equity of access, flexibility, and personalization. They propose integrating art therapy into school counseling, art education, special education services, and after school programs.” In this article they discuss the difference between art education and art therapy in schools. Art education is heavily focused on what is produced, and not the process of producing it; which is just as, if not more important in all forms of art. (Especially in performance arts.)
I also found a number of books which I am interested in looking into, including ‘Art In Action’ edited by Ellen G Levine and Stephen K Levine, and Art Therapy and Social Action edited by Frances F Kaplan.
The main example of innovative change here would be schools trying to make Art Therapy available to students.

I believe in the importance of arts in society, and can state from personal experience that creating art of all kinds has helped me a lot. I want to help other people have access to the arts to help them also work through problems. And so, I wish to help encourage art therapy programs in schools for student access.

Featured Image by Alice Ratterree

Mariana Considine

3 Responses to “#5 Inspiring Change by being Inspired By Change

  • Jiya Pandya
    5 years ago


    That’s a cool UCLA study you found, especially what you wrote about the difference between art education and art therapy. That spoke to Sinek’s TED talk well. Yet, were there any solid examples or numbers mentioned in the UCLA report? People who have documented why they do art therapy, and how it helps, and who? Did they test art therapy in a specific school? I know you said research is sparse, but I was wondering whether anything had been done at all.

    I’m excited about the two books you found; they look really interesting. I got curious about your topic, and did some Googling myself. This organizations looks relevant: https://arttherapy.org/. If you have the time, I would recommend browsing through the whole website, but a good place for you might be the ‘Resources’ tab on the top right. You might find more tangible examples of art therapy for social change in there, and examples of work you can do if you want to make art therapy useful in VT schools.

    Good luck!

    • I looked at the website you recommended. Thank you for that! I may try to use some of their research questions. One of them particularly interests me; ‘What neurobiological processes are involved in art making during art therapy?’

  • Hi Mariana,

    Somewhat unfortunately, it seems that research on art therapy in schools or just art therapy in general is sparse. However, you could use this to your advantage. You can use your personal experience with the arts to draw from, and add that to the new research you come across in interviews to provide some really thought-provoking resources. I’m really psyched that you’re pioneering this topic. I’m excited to hear more from you.


Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *