Art Project Ideas to Aid in Recovery

All artwork used in this post was created by me. The images serve as a reference for the reader. Most of the artwork I feature in blog posts is “response art”. Why Do I Sneeze When I Drink Alcohol? That means that when I set down to create each piece, I reflected on my work with a specific client, and then created the artwork with that experience in mind.

recovery art therapy ideas

After that, I encourage the client to draw symbols, images, shapes, words, etc. on paper that represent the parts of themselves that feel unresolved, AKA their “unfinished business”. Once they have all of their symbols inside the box, I ask them to take them out, one at a time, and talk about each one. An art therapy literature review published in Frontiers in Psychology (2018) looked at studies conducted between 2000 and 2017 to examine the efficacy of art therapy with adults. Play the rhythm of your choice by clapping your hands, tapping the table, clicking, etc. When you get used to it, play it in a different way or choose a new rhythm.

Provides a Healthy Outlet for Self-Expression

This exercise develops imagination, relieve emotional stress. For the color splashing technique, use a comb, brush, or toothbrush. Bright splashes will help express seasonal changes (leaf color changes, wind direction). This exercise improves creative vision, relieves emotional stress.

During this exercise, clients often start an honest conversation with the art therapist on their feelings about changing versus staying in their addiction. One of several options for addiction treatment, art therapy for drug and alcohol addiction recovery can provide a creative outlet for addicts to express their thoughts and emotions. For example, consider how the brain can only hold so much information, and it can be difficult to process it all internally.

Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health and Addiction Treatment?

A “words to live by” collage can be created individually or in a group setting. As our understanding of addiction expands we learn more and more the importance of using creative expression to overcome addiction. A long time ago addiction was viewed as a moral breakdown and a sign of a weak-willed person. They would often admit those stuck in addiction to an asylum where they would be locked in a room to “get over” their addiction. This often resulted in death, insanity and most often a total relapse when they were finally released.

Art therapy sessions with a trained art therapist in your community, whether solo or in a group setting, can be a valuable way to reflect on your SUD, its causes, and your recovery. For example, let’s say you had a painful experience during your time using substances. This experience has held you down for years, and it was difficult to get through it and seek help. Others around you may have had similar experiences, but no one will have yours.

Addiction Treatment Programs

Mostly, other forms of therapy use verbal language to express feelings and overcome personal obstacles. On the contrary, art therapy allows for more abstract forms of communication. This tactic involves the manifestation of elements of the subconscious, for which there is no willingness or ability to be voiced. Art therapy uses creative mediums like drawing, painting, coloring, and sculpture. For PTSD recovery, art helps process traumatic events in a new away.

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