Art Project Ideas to Aid in Recovery

NuView Treatment Center is a top leading Los Angeles outpatient alcohol and drug rehab program. Our goal is to inspire hope and create lasting change while you or a loved one are coping with the challenges of mental health and addiction – one client at a time. A study on the brain shows creativity, like art therapy, awakens regions in the brain—like the hippocampus, which is connected to learning and memory—that may suffer from damage. Using art therapy with participants, results showed creative expression improves brain function, such as memory.3 If substance misuse can damage parts of the brain, this may mean art therapy can help repair those areas. Art therapy in hospitals and clinical settings could be very helpful to aid treatment and therapy, and to enhance communications between patients and on-site medical staffs in a non-verbal way.

  • Art therapy for drug and alcohol addiction recovery is an excellent tool to help individuals connect with their emotional challenges, explore their feelings, and reconcile emotional conflicts they have been suffering from.
  • The goal of art therapy is to help participants recover on all levels of healthy functioning emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
  • He or she uses art projects to help improve a patients cognitive and sensorimotor functions.

Once the timeline is completed, the patient is encouraged to write in a journal about the emotions inspired by this activity. The art therapist can also offer some general prompts, such as “Are there moments that inspire happiness? ” The conversation is designed to help the patient become aware of their own feelings and begin working through unresolved conflicts. By integrating art therapy into a comprehensive treatment plan, people can receive a holistic approach to their addiction recovery.

Express Yourself Using Art Therapy To Help Treat Addiction

I’ll try to give you a brief history of each intervention through the lens of art therapy and the influences of psychology, counseling, marriage and family therapy, art, and culture on that intervention. I’ll also be explaining a little bit of how an intervention might be adapted to suit individual needs and situations in the spirit of “one size does not fit all.” However, despite the above advantages, published systematically review on this topic is lacking. Therefore, this review aims to explore its clinical applications and future perspectives to summary its global pictures, so as to provide more clinical treatment options and research directions for therapists and researchers. We remain with our clients for life through programs such as our alumni group.

example of visual art used in art therapy for addiction

As patients fill in where the milestones are on the timeline, they also draw symbols that represent the event. People often need time and space to process issues like trauma or abuse.2 When you’re struggling to express yourself but still crave emotional release, art therapy can help. There has been a multitude of studies that show that connection to others within our community is vital to our mental and emotional well-being. The vulnerable state that many people experience when starting with art creation provides fertile ground for developing social ties that might otherwise be stunted by the presence of personal defense mechanisms and mistrust. Using a creative approach, participants are encouraged to express their emotions and connect inward to achieve a deeper understanding of themselves and the origins of their addictions. Taking part in art therapy can provide an outlet for that energy and help people to focus on something positive instead.

The Ten Coolest Art Therapy Interventions

By telling your therapist what to do, you will be verbalising your thoughts in an indirect way. This can be a good approach if you find it difficult to open up and communicate. In recovery, Cosky said he has been able to purchase all the music equipment he previously sold off to buy heroin. He now has a modest recording studio in his room in a sober living house, including a synthesizer, drum art therapy for addiction ideas machine, software, bass, guitars and microphones. He has everything he needs to make a record, but Cosky said he’s learned he doesn’t have to play all the instruments by himself. Playing music while sober was new for him, and at first Cosky was concerned that he wouldn’t be as “tapped in” to the music, he said alluding to the romanticized idea some artists have about drugs and creativity.

Patients make a visual representation of their lives by drawing a timeline that begins on the year of their birth and ends with the current year. They are then guided to think about the most significant events of their lives, both good and bad. This can include major job changes, meeting an important friend, graduation from college, or the death of a family member.

Integrating Substance Use Services into the Healthcare System

As we can see, the number of literature about art therapy is increasing slowly in the last 15 years, reaching a peak in 2020. This indicates that more effort was made on this topic in recent years (Figure 1). Recovery can spark feelings of gratitude for those who helped you get where you are. Making your own thank-you cards by painting, drawing or embellishing a stack of blank cards will make a lasting impact on you and recipient.

Art therapy is a type of experiential therapy introduced in the 1950s that is widely used as a complementary and alternative treatment for substance abuse. Art therapy can be used in inpatient or outpatient treatment, but it is often used to complement a 12-step program in aftercare. Art therapy is conducted by professional art therapists and is used to build self-esteem and self-awareness, enhance social skills, help individuals process their emotions, and reduce stress and anxiety.