How Can Art Help in Addiction Recovery? Gateway Rehab

January 1, 2021

art therapy projects for addiction

With the support of the art therapist, clients can identify previously unrecognized feelings and themes that show up in their artwork and then process them in a creative and nonjudgmental environment. Art therapists use psychotherapy skills in their sessions, allowing patients to learn about themselves and understand areas of growth. Feelings of denial, depression, compulsion, and obsession are lessened, allowing someone to be more present and feel better without the belief that substances are the only means to peace or joy. The added support of an art therapist in addition to other methods like detox medication, support groups, and ongoing medical supervision can greatly enhance the experience on the road to recovery. As of late, adult coloring books have been on the market to encourage relaxation during times of stress. These coloring books encourage adults to focus on the present moment, using it as a means to detach from unpleasant thoughts.

  • All that’s needed to take the first step is the willingness to lead a happier, healthier life.
  • Telehealth is a virtual program where individuals communicate with licensed health counselors.
  • During this exercise, participants listen to a guided meditation while creating a visual representation of the peaceful scenes they imagine, helping them develop coping strategies for managing cravings and triggers.
  • Moreover, if someone struggles with a poor attention span, they can connect with each moment as they create artwork.

Recovery Symbols to Celebrate Your Sobriety

As with other forms of therapy, a new client can expect to spend some time getting to know their therapist at the first session. This session also allows the therapist to get to know their client and assess their therapeutic needs. Psychologist and artist Hanna Yaxa Kwiatkowska was also an important figure in art therapy.

Humanistic Therapy: Unlocking Your Clients’ True Potential

art therapy projects for addiction

Through art therapy, those in recovery can explore, understand and resolve issues they may feel uncomfortable talking about in traditional talk sessions. They can safely feel and process the full range of emotions surrounding their addiction experience. Participants don’t need to have artistic talent — they need to open themselves up to the experience and engage to benefit from this practice. Through creative recovery art therapy, these individuals can safely communicate their tough experiences, feelings, and thoughts without using words. Mask making is a powerful art therapy exercise that helps individuals in addiction recovery explore their sense of identity and the roles they play in their lives.

The Role of Community and Support

art therapy projects for addiction

This exercise should begin with a brief mindful breathing exercise for each participant to relax and register their stress levels. Then, encourage them to make marks with colors that represent their feelings and draw and paint their problems away. This video trailer for the book Video and Filmmaking as Psychotherapy (Cohen et al., 2016) gives a taste of how filmmaking is being used in psychotherapy with veterans to treat post-traumatic stress art therapy ideas for adults in recovery disorder. Self-portraiture using a range of materials can be very cathartic, and a series of self-portraits can reflect how a client sees themselves changing over time. These can be made by drawing, painting, mask making, sculpture, photography, or mixed media using a combination of these materials. The journal provides a safe place for a client to express their authentic voice and practice honest self-expression (Knill & Atkins, 2020).

The goal is to give the patient an outlet to express themselves in a new way—a simpler way. Art therapy can also improve cognitive function1 and enhance brain connectivity. Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. Relapse prevention techniques are essential for people aiming to finish their relationship with substance abuse and maintain sobriety. Art therapy has become an extremely popular treatment tool, thanks in part to its ever-growing list of benefits.

  • If you’ve had to sever ties with people who don’t encourage you to improve your own life, you may find yourself lonely during your recovery.
  • Participants don’t need to have artistic talent — they need to open themselves up to the experience and engage to benefit from this practice.
  • Meanwhile, trust an electronic health record like TenEleven to manage the day-to-day of your organization’s administrative duties.
  • Below are five art therapy activities, specifically designed to support individuals with anxiety.

art therapy projects for addiction

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art therapy projects for addiction

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