Bringing Creative Psychotherapies to Primary NHS Mental Health Services in the UK: A Feasibility Study on Patient and Staff Experiences of Arts for the Blues Workshops Delivered at Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services

Vicky Karkou, Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, Ailsa Parsons, Kerry Nair, Jennifer Starkey, SHELLY HASLAM, Scott Thurston, Linda Dubrow-Marshall

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

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There have been several arguments for the need to generate evidence-based creative forms of psychological interventions in Improving Access to Psychological Services (IAPT), the main primary mental health provider in hospitals in England, UK. In this feasibility study, we sought to identify helpful and unhelpful factors of a new creative group psychotherapy, titled Arts for the Blues. We also wanted to find out whether the research tools used were acceptable and sensitive. We therefore engaged a group of seven patients attending an IAPT service in the North West of England, and a group of six staff working in the same service, to attend one creative workshop each, followed by a focus group. The two focus groups were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. We also collected pre- and post-measures of depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7), measures commonly used in IAPT services, plus measures of well-being (WHO-5), the PANAS, and goal-setting, which were considered for acceptability and sensitivity. We received largely positive responses from service users and staff in the use of creative methods in psychotherapy. Although the measures used had limitations due to the short duration of one-off creative workshops, we found that they were sensitive enough, easy to complete and, thus, were acceptable. We concluded that Arts for the Blues is a promising intervention in IAPT, especially since it is shaped by service users and staff working in these services. Further work is needed to establish the effectiveness of this new intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-628
Number of pages13
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Volume22
Issue number3
Early online date2 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • creativity
  • psychotherapy
  • evidence-based
  • IAPT
  • primary care
  • feasibility

Research Institutes

  • Health Research Institute

Research Centres

  • Research Centre for Arts & Wellbeing

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