What is it about?

We ran a ten week NHS art psychotherapy group for adults with severe and enduring mental health difficulties who were finding it hard to move on in their lives, drawing on occupational therapy perspectives. The group was called the Lighthouse Group, using the lighthouse as a metaphor for recovery, and themed art making activities focussed on identifying barriers to recovery, instilling hope, recognising internal resources and setting personal goals. We were working for Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

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Why is it important?

This group was innovative in integrating approaches from art psychotherapy and occupational therapy. The case study includes group members' artwork and reflections to show how they used the group to help with their recovery. Participants identified several ways in which the group was helpful, and outcome data also suggests that this group was effective in facilitating recovery for these adults.


We were inspired by the participants' response to the group and the progress they made. I have run the group again, with good results, and am developing an online version.

Ali Coles
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: From reflection to action: a case study of an art psychotherapy group which drew on occupational therapy perspectives, Mental Health Review Journal, July 2020, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/mhrj-02-2020-0012.
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