Singapore University of Social Sciences

Asian and Western Theories of Creativity

Asian and Western Theories of Creativity (XAT501)


XAT501 Asian and Western Theories of Creativity lays the foundation for the Expressive Arts Therapy programme as it looks at the underpinning theories (Asian and Western) for why creativity is important for human development. It will encourage students to define and question their own understanding of creativity, and will look at creativity from a socio-political as well as cultural viewpoints. In this course, students will be introduced to the field of Expressive Arts Therapy, and how it came into being in the context of the larger arts world. They will explore the ethics of using the arts in various fields, and start to reflect on how the expressive arts may be applicable in their own work context.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • What is creativity?
  • Theories of creativity – Asian and Western
  • History and philosophy of expressive arts therapy
  • Single art therapies versus integrated models - a worldview of models
  • Creative explorations and their role in human development
  • Cross-cultural approaches to creativity
  • Socio-political understanding of creativity and the arts
  • Ethical issues in using art as therapy
  • The arts in education
  • The arts in health
  • The arts in social care
  • The process versus the product

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate an understanding of differing approaches to creativity in different contexts.
  • Examine the importance of process over product in expressive arts therapy.
  • Discuss ethical considerations of using the arts with vulnerable clients.
  • Design the fundamentals of creativity in their practice.
  • Appraise the importance of their own creativity in their integration of arts into their work.
  • Evaluate how expressive arts may fit into their work context.
Back to top
Back to top