Our Research: Creative therapies as a response to self-harm


Via funding from Emerging Minds, we recently ran a special interest research group (SIRG) exploring the potential of creative therapies to respond to self-harm in young people.

In addition to their work on this project, our young research co-coordinators created 2 short videos (scroll down…) that share a range of themes and ideas they found relevant to their needs. These include their thoughts on the potential of creative therapies to address self-harm.

Our research culminated in a presentation at The Big Emerging Minds Summit at St, Catherines College, Univesity of Oxford in October 2022. These are, however, early stages and more research is needed in this area.

A film by Naomi

A film by Sim

Following our conference presentation, delegates shared their reactions to this work and the barriers to introducing creative therapies more widely.

“I think this could be a very effective model to use with children and young people (CYP). It comes from a strength-based approach that CYP are able! Definitely more effective than talking therapies.”

“Very interesting growing therapy area and approach to treatment…”

“Art has a huge range of benefits, but is regularly undervalued.”

“Great! I know it worked for me – I do improv comedy as my form of therapy.”

“How do we implement at scale? How do we use this in space of prevention? How do we articulate the impact to incentivize funding?”

“Amazed and identify greatly with this work.”

“Clear that YP benefit from these more flexible therapies and for those who have not benefitted from talking therapies.”

“Love it – especially, the co-production element, but how do we get it into practice?”

“Inspired by the flexibility of the therapy, but wonder how you will be able to convince the NHS, etc to pick up something so flexible given their shortage of funding?”

“What tangible elements are there for existing practices/interventions? Great to see what progress has been made.”