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Chiang Shu Wen, Jolene

Chiang Shu Wen, Jolene

MA Art Therapy
2018 — 2020

Since 2010, Jolene Chiang has worked in community development, volunteerism and youth mentoring. She was engaged in the non-profit sector, working alongside with foundations, government agencies and social service agencies both locally and regionally. Jolene managed education and healthcare projects in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. In Singapore, she has led multiple stakeholders and community causes ranging from families of the incarcerated, vulnerable children, mental health population, seniors, persons living with developmental disabilities and youths at risk.

Jolene is the founder of Our Heart Matters, a mental health practice that adopts a holistic approach to a person’s overall well-being. She is a recipient of the Tan Kah Kee Postgraduate Scholarship.



Mixed media
150 x 80 cm

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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

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.