The article demonstrates a successful approach to providing Youth and Community Work students in higher education (HE) with a learning experience that embraces the transformative agenda of their chosen profession. It adds to our understanding of the opportunities and limitations in crafting a learning environment and embedding a discursive pedagogy that draws on the creativity of both the lecturer and students. Exploring different iterations of reflective sessions, it highlights how creative approaches can help students overcome barriers to their engagement with a particularly complex concept, namely, the transformational capacity of ‘professional love’ within Youth and Community Work practice. The evaluation of these sessions generates broadly positive results, suggesting that creative methods are appropriate for addressing complex issues in the HE classroom. However, it also details how this approach proved profoundly upsetting for some participants, suggesting it should not be seen as a one-size-fits-all solution to overcoming barriers in teaching and learning.