School of Creative

Devika Kumar

Devika Kumar

MA Art Therapy
Class of 2022

Devika has a degree in Psychology. While working at Singapore's Institute of Mental Health as a case manager, she encountered a patient who benefited from art therapy. Devika then decided to pursue art therapy as it combines her passion for the arts and psychology.

During her training, Devika feels honoured to have worked with clients diagnosed with mental health conditions at a community mental health setting and with children diagnosed with autism at a student care centre. She has served as a student representative for the MA Art Therapy 2022 cohort.

Devika uses acrylic paints, markers and watercolours in her art, to attain a sense of calm and control. She takes cues from her surroundings and experiences to create artworks that capture natural beauty, which helps her cope with daily stressors. She incorporates falling light and vibrant colours to enhance her art practice and works.


"शांत- Sha-ant" (Calm): Coming a Full Circle
Rice paper, markers and Gansai Tambi
145cm x 30 cm

Carl Jung has described mandalas as a depiction of the self. The repetition of patterns and colouring of the symbols are noted to reduce anxiety, create a sense of calm and nurture a deeper understanding of self. "शांत- Sha-ant" (Calm): Coming a Full Circle came about as a way for the artist to attain a sense of calm by stepping away from her daily stressors, to make sense of her therapeutic encounters and reflect on her identity. The meditative and repetitive mandala-making process has fostered deeper connections to her roots. As a tribute to her multicultural background, the artist has used symbols and materials such as the lotus, mirror work, peacock, Om and rice paper in the artistic process.

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Thesis abstract

Art therapy’s role in enhancing the mental health and wellness of a young person as part of a non-institutional and community-based context

The aim of this qualitative practitioner-based thesis is to elevate the role that art therapy plays in enhancing the mental health and wellness of a young person diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) within a non-institutional, community-based context. The study aims to study the benefits that art therapy can have on mental wellness by incorporating trauma- and culturally-informed care whilst working with a young person diagnosed with PTSD and GAD. Through the use of a practitioner-based qualitative single case study, the effect of non-directive and directive forms of art therapy interventions were studied further. Emergent themes in the art-making process were understood with the help of Naff’s framework for treating cumulative trauma (2014) and also formed themes beyond the framework that allowed the client to not only create an artwork to process the incidents, but also pen narratives to express herself. Results indicated that the client gained new narratives in processing and integrating past trauma as well as learning ways to cope with her anxious thoughts. The research serves to promote trauma- and culturally-informed clinical art therapy services in a community mental health setting, with the aim of promoting wellness within an Asian setting.

Clinical internship

Jan–May 2021
Rainbow Center (Yishun Park)
Art therapist trainee
Conducted individual and group art therapy sessions for kids diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Aug 2021–May 2022
SAMH Creative SAY!
Art therapist trainee
Conducted individual, open studio, art experientials and group art therapy sessions for clients diagnosed with mental health conditions in the community.