Group therapies can take many different forms. In the ERA study, we are comparing group therapies that use the arts with a group therapy that uses talking. All ERA participants will receive a place in group therapy. The type of group therapy (arts or talking) is decided at random.
Group therapies can provide participants with the opportunity to share experiences and learn from others. Group therapies aim to have no expectations put onto the participants and promote a non-judgemental, creative and safe space.
The ERA arts therapy and talking therapy groups will run for 90 minutes, twice a week, for 20 weeks (5 months).
Group arts therapies
In the ERA study, we will be exploring group art therapy, dance movement therapy and music therapy. Each of these groups involve using the art form to explore personal issues with other people, including a therapist in a safe and supportive environment. Using the art form means making art work in art therapy, playing instruments in music therapy, or using movement in dance movement therapy. You don’t need to have skills or previous experience to take part. The emphasis is on using the process to understand yourself and your experiences better.
Each group moves flexibly between using the art form and talking about the experience of that. This could include talking about what it is like to create and how this might relate to your feelings and experiences. The therapist is there to ensure that the group and space feels safe to help exploration of creative work and to support the group’s reflections and insights through the therapy process. The structure and approach of each therapy is similar. However, the experience of using art, music or dance movement therapy can be very different.
If you decide to take part in the study, we will ask you to pick the type of group arts therapy that you like best. We will show you a video about the different types to help you decide.
The talking therapy in the ERA study is person-centred group counselling therapy. This will involve meeting others in a group with a group counsellor and will use talking only, without any use of the arts. Group counselling provides participants with the opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences verbally within the group, they may also learn about themselves and how they relate to others during this process.