Dr Joanna Omylinska-Thurston

School of Health & Society

Photo of Dr Joanna Omylinska-Thurston

Current positions

Lecturer in Counselling & Psychotherapy

Areas of Research

Dr Joanna Omylinska-Thurston is a Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Salford and a Counselling Psychologist at the Greater Manchester Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH). She is a co-founder of a creative psychotherapy Arts- for-the-Blues that is based on her prior British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded projects into clients’ perceptions of what is helpful and unhelpful in psychological therapies (Omylinska-Thurston et al, 2019). Based on research in evidence-based interventions for depression such CBT, counselling and arts psychotherapies, Arts-for-the-Blues involves integrating creative modalities such as drawing, writing or movement into talking therapies (Omylinska-Thurston et al, 2020). It was evaluated in a single-arm study with mental health charity MIND clients (Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group funding) indicating promising results (Omylinska-Thurston et al, in preparation). Joanna is currently leading a GMMH funded feasibility study implementing Arts-for-the-Blues within NHS Talking Therapies as well as collaborating on Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded projects on scaling up interventions such as Arts-for-the-Blues and commercialising Arts-for-the-Blues training. Joanna is currently developing a Randomised Controlled Trail (RCT) for Arts-for-the-Blues, building the evidence base for this approach in order to influence future service provision at a policy level, i.e. via National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence (NICE).

Areas of Supervision

psychological therapies

Qualifications and Recognitions

  • Doctorate in Counselling Psychology