The Horizons Project is an exciting collaboration between the International Centre for Arts Psychotherapies Training (ICAPT) and the University Alliance. It offers supported honorary research posts to clinical art therapists, with the aim of training and coaching them in researching the efficacy and efficiency of arts therapies in the NHS.

Applications for Honorary arts psychotherapies clinical research posts are now closed.

This project was founded in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire.  ICAPT provides a range of evidence-based clinical interventions that can offer help to people with depression, psychoses or borderline personality disorders.

The Horizons Project has been set up to develop our future researchers and to help bridge the gap between the high-level research of the University Alliance and the clinical practice of CNWL. This involves finding ways of communicating hypotheses about what makes a difference for patients and how this change is relevant to NHS targets and desired treatment outcomes.

The project reflects the initial stages of our research programme and we anticipate findings that will lead to larger scale research projects. The research methodology is based on small-scale pilots set up for art, music and dance movement psychotherapists. We will be evaluating qualitative and quantitative evidence that will be clearly linked with the arts therapies process.

The researchers will work with a team of experienced clinicians, managers and academics to examine:

  • how the efficiency and efficacy of arts psychotherapies clinical models are evaluated;
  • what types of measure are implemented and the best approach to implementation;
  • how qualitative data will be captured; and
  • how the data will be collated and presented.

It is expected that the researchers will undertake some of the 'hands on' work, with support from the arts therapies teams, training in research specific areas, mentoring from University Alliance staff on the MA Art Therapy course in Hertfordshire, and management supervision from CNWL.

The researchers' role will also have a teaching component that, if time allows, can include presenting at conferences and meetings, and providing input to the research component of the MA qualifying course at the University of Hertfordshire. Travel expenses up to £10 per week will be reimbursed by CNWL.

The project will help to build a good CV for early career researchers, contextualise their interests and begin to build the experience, network. Lastly, the enthusiastic CNWL arts therapies teams can offer a research-friendly learning environment, as well as their experience and knowledge to support the researcher.

Clinical Reflection

Another aim of the project is to facilitate reflection on clinical work that will foster a range of perspectives on what works for whom. In many cases this supports in-depth thinking around clinical practice and essay writing.

Role description

  • The role of the researcher is to build on and inform the existing research programme undertaken by ICAPT.
  • The researcher will be allocated one of a range of research projects that will help us to define clinical models and correlate practice with evidence based models.
  • The researcher will be expected to engage with clinicians from different modalities (e.g. music. Art, drama and dance movement) with a view to researching or surveying their clinical model.
  • Meeting the arts therapies teams, getting to know the clinical models and how they are applied, and understanding the wider research context in this area.
  • Helping to devise pilots looking more closely at outcomes related to defined clinical models.
  • Collating data.
  • The researcher must be available for seven hours per week for a minimum period of 9 months.
  • The researcher will help to communicate findings to range of professionals
  • The researcher may be required to interview patients and therapists about their experience.
  • We suggest that the researcher attend relevant clinical development meetings, research meetings and clinical trainings offered by ICAPT. The researcher will be able to receive training and attend events free of charge. There may also be the opportunity to attend clinical meetings (e.g. supervision/ referral meetings) to gain a better understanding of the clinical process.
  • The researcher will be managed by Dominik Havsteen-Franklin, Consultant in Arts Psychotherapies, CNWL NHS Foundation Trust.
  • The University of Hertfordshire as part of the  University Alliance will provide coaching and support.

Person specification

Essential characteristics and experience

Applicants must be able to demonstrate:

  • A record of completing qualitative or quantitative basic level research to a high standard (e.g. a case study).
  • An interest in understanding how we measure change in clinical practice.
  • A working knowledge of how the arts-making process and non-verbal communication play an integral role in the treatment of patients with severe mental health disorders, i.e. some clinical experience with children, adults or older people with mental health issues.
  • An ability to understand and work with a number of organisational processes, including policies and procedures such as information governance and ethics.
  • Capacity to work independently within he aims of the Horizons Project

Desirable characteristics and experience

Evidence of training or experience that would support a basic knowledge of empirical research (e.g. an academic qualification in psychology).

Prior experience of engaging in comparative research.

More information

Applications are now closed

If you would like more information, please email .

To apply

Email with your CV and an outline of your interest and describing your background and relevant experience.

You will then be asked to attend an interview. If you are successful, you will be offered the position on the condition of two good references and occupational health clearance