Taking Flight

As part of my preparation for my career in art therapy, I completed a one-year placement within the criminal justice system.

As an outcome of this experience, I developed a model of art therapy practice to challenge the impact of stigmatisation and labelling on women transitioning from prison into the probation system and community life. The model titled Taking Flight, was the topic of my dissertation and it has also informed my career trajectory as an art therapist.

Taking Flight is a method of group art therapy for women as they develop their self identity and creative capacities to compose their lives beyond the criminal justice system. By recognising the vulnerabilities and fears women experience in prison and in probation services, the Taking Flight approach is developed from a place of understanding, compassion and support. It is a strengths based model that encourages dignity and the skills to move on to become resourceful and self confident. The model is composed of arts based stepping stones that form a creative pathway to agency and resiliency.



Maeve Cassidy