Imperial College London

New Centre at Imperial to explore benefits of arts therapy

New Centre at Imperial to explore benefits of arts therapy

Researchers talk about the new International Centre for Research in Arts Therapies - <em>News</em>

By Lucy Goodchild
Tuesday 3 November 2009

A new Centre has launched at Imperial College London that aims to explore the potential benefits of using arts therapies to treat physical and mental disorders. The International Centre for Research in Arts Therapies (ICRA), which launched on 21 September 2009, will coordinate and carry out large collaborative studies examining how effective arts therapies are for treating people with poor health. Currently, the researchers are running a clinical trial aimed at finding out if attending a weekly art therapy group can help people with longstanding emotional distress.

Arts therapists use painting, drama, music, dance and movement to help patients, such as elderly people with dementia or young children who have experienced trauma, to express their thoughts and feelings.

Previous, small-scale research has suggested that arts therapy can be an effective form of treatment for a range of conditions. The ICRA now aims to carry out larger scale studies and will also support others working in this area by putting arts therapists and researchers in touch with each other. The Centre will be run in collaboration with the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

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If the ICRA’s research demonstrates that arts therapy can help patients, the researchers will explore with healthcare providers whether arts therapy could become a more mainstream form of treatment for certain disorders.

In this video, ICRA President Professor Diana Waller and Treasurer Dr Mike Crawford, both from the Division of Neurosciences and Mental Health at Imperial tell us about arts therapies, ICRA and how the Centre aims to help people in need of therapy.

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For further information please contact:

Lucy Goodchild
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Imperial College London
E-mail: lucy.goodchild@imperial.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7594 6702 or ext. 46702
Out of hours duty press officer: +44 (0)7803 886 248

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