Creating Dads Research Participants Wanted

logo: Creating Dads

Recruitment for this research has now closed.

My research aims to see whether offering 12 weeks of art therapy for fathers can improve their wellbeing, or that of their families.

This study is for fathers who are interested in trying a psychological therapy that includes using objects and art materials to express yourself, alongside talking.

You don’t need to have a specific problem to be involved as we are interested in if this is useful for the general population. You just need to be open to the idea of attending the sessions, and completing the rating scales before and after.

The sessions are designed to be useful for dads who want to improve their wellbeing.

There is also an opportunity for your family to be involved in the study, which would involve completing some wellbeing questions before and after the intervention. This would need your consent and theirs. If they don’t want to be involved we would still value your participation.

The goal of the study will be to find out if providing arts-based interventions could be beneficial to fathers in North Cumbria.

The sessions will be delivered by a qualified Art Therapist, registered with HCPC and a member of BAAT, working within their ethical guidelines and competency frameworks.

Who is eligible to take part?

If you are a father of a child aged 0-17 and you have links to North Cumbria (Live/Work/Study/Access Services) then you may be eligible.

You would need to be available to attend a screening discussion (online or in person) and then attend 12 sessions of art therapy in person. We can organise a location near you that is convenient and confidential, or contribute to travel costs to Carlisle.

You won’t be eligible if you are currently accessing psychological services from the NHS or privately.

You also won’t be eligible if you are currently involved in active legal proceedings or social care proceedings relating to family life.

Why have you asked me to take part and what will I be required to do? 

You have been given this information sheet as you expressed an interest in volunteering in the study.

We will initially offer you a screening discussion, and if you would like to participate in the study we will ask you to complete some questions relating to wellbeing and creativity before, during and after the study.

You will be invited to a 50 minute art therapy session once a week for 12 weeks, starting as soon as you are ready.

If you are happy for your family to also be involved then they will be asked to complete questions relating to wellbeing at the start of the study, at the end, and some families will be invited to an arts activity 4 weeks after the final session.

What if I do not wish to take part or change my mind during the study? 

Your participation in the study is entirely voluntary. You are free to withdraw from the study at any time without having to provide a reason for doing so. Please email me on with the pseudonym you chose at the start of the study, so I can identify and delete your data. It will be guaranteed that this is possible up to 4 weeks after data collection. However, any data that has been further anonymised and analysed after 4 weeks may not be able to be withdrawn. 

What happens to the research data? 

All data will be stored in line with GDPR, and you can locate the university privacy notice here. 

You will be given the option to choose a pseudonym at the start of the study that I will use to link all your data together. If you decide to leave the study at any point we will use this pseudonym to locate and delete your data.

Your information will be kept confidential – so any identifiable information you give to me will be stored electronically initially via the questionnaire platform, on the university system, in password protected files. I will be the only person who has access to your identifiable information. Any other data you give that could identify you – such as place names, work details, children’s names, will all be anonymised.

Any art work made in the sessions will be kept by the therapist during the 12 weeks. At the end of the 12 weeks you will be able to take the artwork away with you. Photographs will be made of each artwork, and these will be stored confidentially alongside your other data. Where photographs of artwork are included in any publications we will ensure we have your consent, and will also remove any identifying information.

All raw data will be deleted at a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 10 years after the lead researcher, Lydia Pell, has submitted their final thesis. 

How will the research be reported? 

Participants can ask to be sent the final anonymised results and links to any publications. Participants can also volunteer to be a part of the stakeholder group (Public Involvement and Community Engagement).

The data is intended to form part of my PhD and may be included in my thesis but may also be used in presentations to policy makers or professionals who can shape the design of services in the future, and may be shared at conferences, and included in research journals. No identifiable data will be included. 

How can I find out more information? 

Please contact me directly on you can also find me on Twitter @CreatingDads

Safeguarding and Child Protection 

If you tell me about something which indicates a risk of serious harm to yourself or other person(s), I may not be able to keep this confidential and I will make every effort to discuss with you what steps I must take. If this information relates to a child at risk, then I will need to disclose this to the safeguarding lead for the university immediately and so may not be able to discuss this with you initially. 

What if I want to complain about the research? 

Initially you should contact me directly ( However, if you are not satisfied or wish to make a more formal complaint you should contact Dr Colette Conroy, Chair of Research Ethics Email: 

Ethical Approval Ref : 21/24

If you have concerns about the art therapist you can also contact the HCPC to make a complaint.