Addiction Recovery: Seven Great Art Project Ideas

You may have experienced isolation from your family that is difficult to discuss. These situations can be hard to put into words, but rather than talk it out and risk giving inaccurate descriptions, you can draw it out. If drawing doesn’t do it for you, you can use paint, sculpture, or even dance to depict your emotions. No matter the feelings, experiences, traumas, or mental state, you have the ability to express them through art. If you are in recovery or know someone who is, check out our list of art therapy ideas for substance abuse. You just might find a new favorite hobby as well as ease the recovery process.

  • Once sober, many people find it difficult to fill all the hours they used to spend seeking and using drugs or alcohol.
  • The concept of this project is to encourage them to imagine the potential for transformation.
  • Beginning with her 1947 book, Studies of the “Free” Expression of Behavior Problem Children as a Means of Diagnosis and Therapy, she wrote several books on the topic.
  • They can include psychology and art classes as well as courses in sociology and education.
  • All of the above are repercussions from the misappropriation of the human “fight or flight” response that drug and alcohol addiction hijacks.
  • To begin, each participant will draw four dots—one in each corner of the paper—and then connect them to draw a square border.
  • During an art therapy session using active imagination, the client has full freedom to create whatever they’d like.

One such common phrase is ‘level of care,’ which signifies the extent of services a patient needs. If you are struggling with addiction, it may seem like there is no end to it. Recovery is undoubtedly a challenging journey, but there are better things laid out for you at… The lighthouse activity has participants visualize being lost at sea and using the idea of a lighthouse as a point of guidance.

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British artist Adrian Hill officially coined the term art therapy after reviewing its benefits in sanatoriums. Art therapy has been used to help treat substance abuse specifically since the 1950’s. It isn’t the final piece of artwork but rather the process of creating that can unveil so much insight. Art therapy provides an opportunity to explore, comprehend, and resolve difficulties in a person’s life that he may not feel comfortable talking about in a typical discussion. Creating art is frequently a nonverbal process that increases the ways a person can express thoughts and feelings.

Reach out to us now, no matter the time of day or night, even if you’re not sure what you want to do yet and just need someone to listen. Art therapy has been used since 1945 to help war veterans cope with the trauma resulting in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). It can also help those who have experienced trauma, including sexual assault or childhood abuse. It is practised in a group or in an individual setting and is guided by a trained practitioner.

Using Art Therapy for Addiction

And don’t forget to stay informed about mental health, psychology, and wellness. Treatment providers have used art therapy in addiction art therapy for addiction ideas treatment since the 1950s. In fact, this form of therapy is currently used in 36.8 percent of addiction treatment programs.

  • Art making can help make some of the abstract ideas addressed in the 12 Steps, such as denial, acceptance, and faith, more tangible.
  • In case you’re struggling with an addiction, we strongly recommend trying art therapy as a part of your healing journey.
  • At your next opportunity, you could illustrate how you felt when you wanted to drink, as well as any emotions or concerns you had at that moment.
  • Secondly, they can have the confidence to express themselves without words.
  • Art therapy is not restricted to any age group, and works well for children, teenagers, adults, couples, families, and single individuals.
  • Researchers in a 2014 study examined data from close to 300 substance use disorder treatment centers, taking an in-depth look at how professionals treat SUDs.

Art therapy has always been an effective coping mechanism for distress, similar to music, cooking, dancing, and writing as therapy. Art therapy doesn’t work for everyone, but if it’s an effective tool that may work for you, you owe it to yourself to try it. For example, a patient may enter a recovery clinic needing assistance with the withdrawal process. For a certain amount of time, the clinic will oversee the patient and ensure they are not in medical danger while they progress through the withdrawal process for a substance. As ECHO continues our mission to support artists in recovery, we’re working as an organization to further our reach so we can help more people and give back in bigger ways. Considering that life is full of the unexpected, having an outlet for emotional expression and an overabundance of energy is vital to overall wellness and avoiding potential triggers for drug relapse.

Creativity for Addiction Recovery?

Painting, chalk drawing, sketching, journaling, playing an instrument, singing, and clay throwing. While these may all be enjoyable hobbies, they can also have many unexpected benefits. At Clearbrook Treatment Center, we are strong supporters of using art to help with the addiction recovery process.

Exercise is already an effective way to aid addiction recovery, and dance therapy takes art expression and combines it with physical movement. These two together can make for a great tool to improve mood, increase focus and aide creative rehabilitation. A combination of emotional expression through the art of dance, as well as the release of hormones from physical activity, can increase healing on a physical, mental and emotional level. The thoughts you’re having can be difficult to say out loud, and you may be unsure how to accurately depict how you’re feeling, but art therapy makes the process easier while still reaching the intended goal.

Why Art Therapy for Addiction Works

For example, consider how the brain can only hold so much information, and it can be difficult to process it all internally. For many people, jotting down a note on paper can not only serve to help them remember the thoughts occurring at any given time, but they may also interpret them differently after viewing it on paper. Many people recovering from SUD are hesitant to work with others out of fear, but the end result of a group art project may be worth it. Others who see this art will wonder what the inspiration was, and you can either communicate your thoughts to them or leave it up for people to interpret.

An art therapist offers a deeper level of support than you can find on your own. On top of that, art therapy can distract people from the triggers that may cause cravings or the desire for addictive substances. All in all, art therapy is a comprehensive and well-rounded tool for substance abuse recovery patients. Art therapy offers alternative and healthy ways to manage emotional turmoil without resorting to substance abuse. Because of these benefits, art therapy is sometimes used as a secondary or ancillary form of addiction treatment, often in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, and more. Here at Soba Recovery, we want to help you live a thriving, purposeful, sober life.

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