Arts for the blues–a new creative psychological therapy for depression

Ailsa Parsons, Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, Vicky Karkou, Julianne Harlow, Shelly Haslam, Jessica Hobson, Kerry Nair, Linda Dubrow-Marshall, Scott Thurston, Julia Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
398 Downloads (Pure)


Routinely prescribed psychological therapies for depression are not always effective. Arts therapies, particularly Dance Movement Psychotherapy, may offer additional therapeutic mechanisms for depression. Therefore, client-reported helpful factors from various therapy types, along with client preferences, are key in devising new therapeutic interventions. We present a framework for a new pluralistic ‘meta-approach’ of therapy for depression, based on an interdisciplinary thematic synthesis (Thomas & Harden, 2008) of active ingredients from both talking therapies and creative approaches. Lastly, we offer an example group therapy workshop based on this approach, to be piloted with clients and practitioners within an NHS mental health service. Further research is required to evaluate this pilot and to devise a full treatment for trialling within the service.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • Creative
  • arts
  • psychological therapies
  • psychotherapy
  • counselling
  • multimodal
  • pluralistic
  • depresion


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