17 October 2018

What are the arts therapies, why do people engage with them and how can they help them? These are questions a new film made by ELFT seeks to answer, as it launches across both London and Bedfordshire.

The film is the result of a truly co-produced effort between arts therapies services, People Participation teams and the award winning media and film making company Tellyjuice.

35 service users and staff from across London, Bedford and Luton came together over two hot summer days in July to co-create the  film, and everyone involved had a chance to meet up again and celebrate the experience at the coordinated launch events over the past week.

The film shows what happens when people take part in the range of arts therapies ELFT provide, including  music therapy,  dance movement therapy, dramatherapy and art therapy. Arts Therapies are provided in regular group sessions over a period of weeks.

Taking part may help patients to express emotions in a setting which might not always be possible with purely talking therapies.  Leanna from Tower Hamlets spoke passionately about her experience of music therapy at the London launch event: “Being part of this made me feel confident and motivated. It gave me the tools to engage, to take this new found confidence into my everyday life. Music is beautiful and I love singing but I’m shy.  I now feel that I can enjoy using my voice.”  Another participant, Naz, said “Body, movement and music helped me to express unfamiliar feelings. This helped create a space for them to be understood."

Adrian Curwen, a Researcher for People Participation said, "art therapy creates a space for creative ideas to flourish. This allows for change and progress. I’m so grateful to everyone that took part, but especially our experts through experience.  Their dedication and energy is inspiring."

The East London Foundation Trust Arts Therapies Film can now be viewed online. We hope it will be of benefit to professionals and service users who want to find out more about the range of Arts therapies on offer in ELFT.

Watch the film and visit the ELFT dedicated online film and video channel here. (Subtitles are available online.)

For more information please contact Jennifer French, Professional Lead for Arts Therapies at: Jennifer.French1@nhs.net

Coming soon: Watch this space for more information – and more videos to follow – in connection with a new piece of research called the ERA trial, which will look at the effectiveness of group arts therapies.