The central objective in the Master’s thesis was to perform and qualitatively assess, how to offer support to four vulnerable pupils, living in a youth care centre, through various relaxation, artistic and above all, visual arts activities. The thesis is based on a multiple case study. I designed a creative program of individual and group workshops, comprised mostly of art assistance through visual arts (here in after PZLD) and to a lesser extent also through drama, dance, musical expression and relaxation activities.
In the theoretical part, the following topics are presented: art assistance (here in after referred to as PZU) and PZLD, in the international terminology known as »arts therapies« and »art therapy«. In addition, creativity, communication, emotions, emotional and behavioural problems and disorders, youth care centre, basic needs as defined by William Glasser (freedom, fun, love and power/significance) and meeting the needs of a child in an institution are also presented.
In the empirical part, I present the collected materials and answer my research questions. I gathered the information about the participants through conversations with them and their educators, whereas my information about the support system came through a partially structured observation with and without my participation, interviews and self-assessments of the participants in the assistance process and with my final discussions with them.
The qualitative (conversation and observation) and quantitative (self-evaluation of feelings) analysis show positive effects that creative approaches and PZLD approaches have on the improvement of well-being and on the higher intensity of emotions (e.g. an increase in satisfaction and a decrease in sadness). The qualitative analysis shows that in the process of individual and group activities, an increase in ways of expressing and acknowledging emotions, feelings and desires, takes place with all four participants. The participants were able to express and fulfil their needs, whereas their creativity evolved, their behavioural repertoire expanded and their interpersonal communications improved, both in the course of workshops and outside of them. Through a visual medium I completed the emotional evaluation test and the social interaction test. In comparison with the initial grade, the final results show an improvement in all participants with both of these tests.
The detailed description of the process and the findings presented in this thesis, may stimulate further studies and at the same time prove helpful to various pedagogues that work with vulnerable students.