Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

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

Parsons, AS; Omylinska-Thurston, J; Karkou, V; Harlow, J; Haslam, S; Hobson, J; Nair, K; Dubrow-Marshall, LJ; Thurston, SD; Griffin, J

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


V Karkou

J Harlow

S Haslam

J Hobson

K Nair

J Griffin


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.


Parsons, A., Omylinska-Thurston, J., Karkou, V., Harlow, J., Haslam, S., Hobson, J., …Griffin, J. (2020). Arts for the blues – a new creative psychological therapy for depression. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 48(1), 5-20.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 13, 2019
Online Publication Date Jul 9, 2019
Publication Date Feb 1, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 2, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 9, 2020
Journal British Journal of Guidance & Counselling
Print ISSN 0306-9885
Publisher Routledge
Volume 48
Issue 1
Pages 5-20
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs


You might also like

Downloadable Citations