Journal article published

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

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 9th July 2019

The Arts for the Blues team have just had their second journal article published for this project.

This paper presents an interdisciplinary synthesis of key active ingredients in psychological treatment for depression, from both talking therapies, and creative arts-based approaches. These findings led to the development of a framework for a new pluralistic ‘meta-approach’ therapy for depression. The article also features an example of a group therapy workshop based on this new approach.

For details of the abstract please see below or click on the link.

Link to the online article


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, J., & Harden, A. (2008). Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 8(1), 45) 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.