Arts for the Blues
A research team including Dr Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, Dr Scott Thurston at the University of Salford and Professor Vicky Karkou at Edge Hill University developed an evidence based creative arts therapeutic intervention for the treatment of depression in collaboration with academics and practitioners at the University of Salford, University of Cambridge, and Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
The research team was inspired to create the intervention based on prior research (NHS Digital, 2016) demonstrating that 43% of NHS clients do not find current mental health interventions to be helpful. They conducted a thematic synthesis of 76 articles referring to helpful factors in the treatment of depression and have been working ever since to develop an evidence based creative psychological therapy for depression, which has been piloted as experiential workshops both at Edge Hill University and with staff and service users in Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. They have collected quantitative and qualitative research data about the effectiveness of the intervention, and the results have been positive. They are currently working on a 12-session format and piloting the programme with different specialist populations.
The team published three articles (Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, Perspectives in Public Health and the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling) and have a number of articles in preparation for publication. They presented at the Creative Therapies Conference at the University of Salford, the Division of Counselling Psychology Annual conference, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Annual Research conference, the British Association of Dramatherapists annual conference and the International Meaning Conference.
The team expects the work to have academic and real-world impact as they continue to develop this evidence-based creative intervention for the treatment of depression.
Funder: Edge Hill University Research Investment Fund, Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and University of Salford Research Impact Funding
Team: Professor Vicky Karkou, Edge Hill University; Dr Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, Dr Scott Thurston, Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall, Ailsa Parsons, all from the University of Salford; Julianne Harlow and Shelly Haslam, Edge Hill University; Professor Nicola Clayton, University of Cambridge, Kerry Nair and Jennifer Lewis.