About the project

Dancing the blues an interdisciplinary collaboration between therapists and artists and aims to create and disseminate a creative treatment package for people with clinical depression. 

Even though clients with mental health issues argue that they find creative activities and arts psychotherapies helpful there is limited access to these types of interventions within NHS mental health services such as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). To contribute towards addressing this gap, we are proposing a dissemination strategy of existing research findings followed by the development of a creative treatment package.

In the first instance, we will share key findings from systematic reviews, surveys and case studies in dance movement psychotherapy and related fields used in the treatment of depression in order to maximise their impact. The dissemination will take the form of performative material, which, once developed, will be presented in public and online fora. 

Secondly, on the basis of lessons learnt from existing research and from the interdisciplinary work of the first phase, we will consider the development of a new type of intervention combining principles of evidence-based counselling for depression, dance movement psychotherapy and creative interventions such as creative writing, visual art, dance and music. This new intervention will be shared with IAPT staff and service users in an NHS Trust in Manchester who will be invited to give feedback on its usefulness and feasibility. Two focus groups will take place, one for IAPT staff and one for service users. Attention will be paid to the development of an intervention that will be particularly attractive to service users living in deprived areas in the North West. If this strategy is successful we will then apply for further funding for a feasibility study to evaluate this intervention within the NHS.