Museum-based Art Psychotherapy Group for Young Adults

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2gether NHS Foundation Trust
Museum-based Art Psychotherapy Group for Young Adults
Context
18 - 25 year olds have been identified as a target group for psychological intervention by
adult secondary mental health services in Gloucestershire, due to an increasing number of
young people coming into the service with complex psychological problems. In addition, it
is recognised that the transition from child to adult services is often a very unsettling time
for young people, with an associated increase in risk.
This Group will be facilitated by Ali Coles, an Art Psychotherapist working as part of the
psychological therapy service within Recovery teams in the county, and Fiona Harrison,
volunteer Art Psychotherapist. The development and evaluation costs are being funded
through the Cultural Commissioning programme led by Gloucestershire Clinical
Commissioning Group http://www.gloucestershireccg.nhs.uk/gloucestershire-ccg-chosento-explore-how-arts-and-culture-can-improve-the-countys-health/).
Aims
The Group will aim to:
 help participants to understand themselves better
 foster the ability to form and sustain positive relationships with others
 encourage social inclusion
 inspire creativity.
Structure
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Referral by Care Co-ordinator.
Initial meeting(s) with facilitators to assess whether the Group is likely to be useful,
to answer any questions and set individual aims.
Up to 12 participants in Group.
18 Group sessions from 14 August – 11 December 2015, on Fridays 10.00 – 11.30.
(10 sessions in Gloucester Folk Museum, 8 sessions in Gloucester City Museum and
Art Gallery http://venues.gloucester.gov.uk/freetime/museums/home.aspx)
Sessions based in the Museums’ education rooms, with use of the Museums’
exhibitions and collections of handling objects.
Why museum-based?
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Fostering social inclusion and combating stigma. Therapy in a non-clinical museum
setting is less likely to lead to feelings of embarrassment or shame and can provide
relief from the ‘sickness role’. Members may feel valued, more part of the wider
community, and encouraged to visit other cultural venues.
Communicating universality. Museum collections suggest that core human
concerns span time and cultures. An understanding of what we all share as human
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beings can encourage the members of the Group to communicate their own
difficulties, thoughts and emotions.
Facilitating self-exploration. Research shows that people project inner thoughts and
feelings onto museum objects and this can feel like a safe way for people to start to
engage with their emotions and personal stories. Group members can also learn
more about themselves through reflecting on how they experience the overall
museum environment (eg their preferred way of exploring the physical space and
the collections, and their response to the museum as a public institution).
Encouraging a sense of containment: Museums are safe, orderly places for looking
after objects. Visiting the museum between sessions may allow further reflection
and processing.
Inspiring creativity. Museum objects can elicit reflective creative expressions from
those who might otherwise find it hard to do so. In particular, the multi-sensory
aspect of handling museum objects can be a powerful stimulus to creativity.
Evaluation
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Psychlops (service-user centred measure of problems/function/wellbeing
http://www.psychlops.org.uk/)
UCL Museum Wellbeing Measure (Younger Adult – measures psychological wellbeing
benefits of museum activities
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums/research/touch/museumwellbeingmeasures/wellbe
ing-measures/UCL_Museum_Wellbeing_Measures_Toolkit_Sept2013.pdf)
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
Structured reflective interview post-Group
Feedback from Care Co-ordinators
Facilitators’ reflective diaries.
For more information please contact Ali Coles – [email protected]
June 2015
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