of Creative

Chiang Shu Wen, Jolene

Jolene Chiang Shu Wen

MA Art Therapy
2018 — 2020

Jolene is a passionate registered art psychotherapist. She specialises in grief and loss, trauma and mental health. Her clientele includes young children to seniors experiencing different types of losses. She integrates mindfulness, somatic awareness and narrative approaches to support bereaved persons in meaning-making and restoration. She provides individual art therapy and designs group art therapy sessions to compassionately address the unique biopsychosocial and spiritual needs of each person she meets. She is an invited conference speaker at the upcoming Grief & Bereavement Conference 2021.



Mixed media
150 x 80 cm

Click here to add in Fav

Thesis abstract

Mentalisation in museum-based group art therapy for youths living with mental health conditions

Museum-based group art therapy is an emerging topic for art therapists in community-based practices. This study examines museum-based group art therapy for youths living with mental health conditions through the psychotherapeutic lens of mentalisation in the context of attachment theory. Mentalisation is defined as the capacity to understand and recognise others in terms of inner mental states such as desires, needs, feelings, beliefs and goals (Allen, 2013; Fonagy & Bateman, 2004; Fonagy et al, 2017; Fonagy & Campbell, 2016). The capacity to mentalise supports functions in self-organisation and affect regulation which develops from early secure attachment relationships (Fonagy & Campbell, 2016). This qualitative case series study was based on three museum-based group art therapy workshops for youths living with mental health conditions in a community-based agency. Adopting an action-research and self-reflexive research framework, the following therapeutic factors were discussed in terms of how they support mentalising processes. First, the role of museum space as a transitional space; interaction with museum artwork/exhibits as a projection tool to explore one’s symbolic self, the therapeutic stance of an art therapist trainee and group processes were given closer analysis.

Work experience

Montfort Care, Grief Matters
Art Psychotherapist
- Provide individual art therapy and group art therapy for diverse clientele from children to seniors. 
- Creative director and Project Lead of Singapore's first co-created community art exhibition (Tapestries of Grief) involving nation-wide partners from healthcare institutions and members of public to showcase unique grief expressions and raise awareness on grief support.
- Designed and conducted signature closed group art therapy programme The Memory Box Project for bereaved persons of pregnancy and infant loss, and caregivers to parental loss with terminal illness.

2019 – 2020
Singapore Association for Mental Health
Art therapist trainee
- Conducted individual, open group art experientials, and closed group art psychotherapy based on trauma-informed practices for youths at risk and/or living with mental health conditions at Singapore Association for Mental Health.
- Conducted three museum-based group art therapy workshops at the National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum.

Singapore Anglican Community Services
Art therapist trainee
- Conducted individual and group art therapy for adults living with mental health conditions
- Conducted museum-based group art therapy workshop for adults living with mental health conditions at the National Gallery Singapore.

2014 – 2018
Youth Corps Singapore
Senior manager
- Part of pioneer team to launch Youth Corps Singapore, a national initiative of National Youth Council to cultivate youth leadership and volunteerism for vulnerable communities in Singapore.
- Led a team to manage community partners, community projects and design youth leadership programmes for service learning and cultivating empathy and personal mastery.

2012 – 2014
Singapore International Foundation
Senior executive
- Managed healthcare and education projects in Cambodia and Thailand with specialist volunteers (physiotherapists, surgeons and nurses) from Singapore hospitals and schools to provide train-the-trainer's programmes with overseas tertiary institutions and hospitals.
- Managed volunteers from private and public sectors to provide more than 800 bio-sand filters for clean drinking water in Cambodia (Phnom Penh and Siem Reap).
- Managed youth leadership programmes with overseas foundations to provide design-thinking community project solutions.