'Getting back to normal': The added value of an art-based programme in promoting 'recovery' for common but chronic mental health problems

Sally Makin, Linda Gask

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Objectives. The aim of this project was to explore the added value of participation in an Arts on Prescription (AoP) programme to aid the process of recovery in people with common but chronic mental health problems that have already undergone a psychological 'talking'-based therapy. Methods. The study utilized qualitative in-depth interviews with 15 clients with persistent anxiety and depression who had attended an 'AoP' service and had previously received psychological therapy. Results and discussion. Attending AoP aided the process of recovery, which was perceived by participants as 'returning to normality' through enjoying life again, returning to previous activities, setting goals and stopping dwelling on the past. Most were positive about the benefits they had previously gained from talking therapies. However, these alone were not perceived as having been sufficient to achieve recovery. The AoP offered some specific opportunities in this regard, mediated by the therapeutic and effect of absorption in an activity, the specific creative potential of art, and the social aspects of attending the programme. Conclusions. For some people who experience persistent or relapsing common mental health problems, participation in an arts-based programme provides 'added value' in aiding recovery in ways not facilitated by talking therapies alone. © The Author(s) 2011 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)64-75
    Number of pages11
    JournalChronic illness
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

    Keywords

    • Anxiety
    • creative therapies
    • depression
    • recovery
    • social inclusion

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