Evaluation of a brief art psychotherapy group for adults suffering from mild to moderate depression: Pilot pre, post and follow-up study

Ania Zubala (Lead / Corresponding author), Donald J. MacIntyre, Vicky Karkou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Current therapies do not offer universal solutions for the ‘global burden’ of depression. By focusing on non-verbal communication and creativity, arts therapies might present a relevant treatment option but their effectiveness remains unclear. A pilot study was undertaken to evaluate a brief art therapy group for adults suffering from depression. Adults experiencing mild to moderate depression took part in art therapy and completed questionnaires at three points in time. The intensity of depression, levels of anxiety and general wellbeing were measured. Semi-structured interviews focused on participants’ expectations and experience of therapy. A decrease in depressive symptoms was observed immediately after the therapy and at the follow-up, and a trend for improvement of subjectively perceived wellbeing was recorded. Potential benefits of therapy recognised by participants included: acceptance of depression, readiness to express emotions, sense of self and awareness of others, readiness for meaningful relationships, sense of achievement, sense of balance and new insights, growth and meaning. The statistically significant results and participants’ experience indicate that art therapy may offer a valuable treatment option for depression, and further research is recommended. Future studies should explore ways of addressing both the outcomes and the process of therapy through creative methodological designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Art Therapy
Volume22
Issue number3
Early online date8 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Brief Psychotherapy
Art
Art Therapy
Depression
Therapeutics
Ego
Creativity
Emotions
Anxiety
Communication
Interviews
Growth

Keywords

  • Art psychotherapy
  • Arts therapies
  • Depression
  • Evaluation
  • Pilot study

Cite this

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Evaluation of a brief art psychotherapy group for adults suffering from mild to moderate depression : Pilot pre, post and follow-up study. / Zubala, Ania (Lead / Corresponding author); MacIntyre, Donald J.; Karkou, Vicky.

In: International Journal of Art Therapy, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2017, p. 106-117.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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