The Ten Coolest Art Therapy Interventions


Those in recovery from addiction have often experienced trauma and other emotional pain in their lives, and, may have trouble confronting those memories directly. Art therapy enables individuals to process difficult memories in a non-threatening environment. CAM includes diverse treatments, such as art therapy, music therapy, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and herbal remedies.

example of visual art used in art therapy for addiction

Our art therapy programmes at UKAT encompass various methods to address our client’s diverse needs and target various aspects of their addiction and mental health conditions. For detailed information on art therapy offerings at our UKAT rehab centres, we encourage you to contact us directly. Our team will gladly provide further insights into our art therapy programmes. Art therapy is used in many treatment centers for its ability to support the recovery of clients who may otherwise struggle to talk about their addiction. These are some of the most important ways in which art therapy is used to encourage a more successful rehab.

What is art therapy?

Celander said she’s also watched patients soothe themselves through art during moments of anxiety. Cosky has always leaned into music as a way to help him understand and cope with his life’s trauma. Cosky moved in with a legal guardian, his older half-sister, whose husband was a guitar teacher. If you choose art therapy for addiction ideas to participate with a good attitude and open mind, you’ll get something out of it. Telehealth is a virtual program where individuals communicate with licensed health counselors. If you or someone you love is thinking about art therapy, there are some common misconceptions and facts you should know.

example of visual art used in art therapy for addiction

Finally, to paraphrase Howes, reading these brief posts is no substitute for the education it takes to understand how to effectively and ethically apply them to practice. Competent therapists always get adequate training before applying any intervention. And consumers or potential clients, if you have a mental health challenge or disorder, please contact a therapist with appropriate credentials and education rather than attempting to apply these interventions to yourself. 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. Painting, chalk drawing, sketching, journaling, playing an instrument, singing, and clay throwing.


As alone as you may feel, there are many people out there who are dealing with the exact same issues and are finding their path to healing every day. Substance abuse disorders can be very difficult to struggle with, but there are ways you can achieve sobriety today and for the long run. Seeking treatment from experienced rehab and recovery professionals can increase your odds of kicking your old habits and preventing relapse in the future. Whether the patient is ready to believe in themselves is not the main concern.

  • An art therapy session typically involves the participant working on an art project while the therapist observes their work, asks questions, and helps the participant to work through the insights obtained through their art.
  • There are many kinds of treatment options for addiction recovery, one gaining popularity is art therapy.
  • This can be anything from positive affirmations to notes that list goals you want to achieve.
  • Celander has led art therapy sessions for patients in every kind of setting, from hospital inpatient units, to intensive outpatient programs to private therapy, both in-person and virtually.
  • Furthermore, music therapy also provides a way to motivate patients to receive treatment.
  • By telling your therapist what to do, you will be verbalising your thoughts in an indirect way.

Just over half of the programs (53.1%) required 12-step meetings for their patients. The average logged program size was 2.6, which represented 27.1 FTEs (the median was 12.5 FTEs), while the average age of a treatment program was 28.4 years. Around 37% of programs were accredited by either the Joint Commission or CARF, and more than half of the programs (61.5%) received revenues from Medicaid. Finally, programs reported that, on average, 43.8% of their counselors held at least a Master’s degree level of education.

Addiction Destroys Dreams, We Can Help

Similar to a memory jar, a self-care box holds small trinkets or scraps of paper. This can be anything from positive affirmations to notes that list goals you want to achieve. Once sober, many people find it difficult to fill all the hours they used to spend seeking and using drugs or alcohol. Relapse prevention techniques are essential for people aiming to finish their relationship with substance abuse and maintain sobriety. Many people lose touch with their true selves when their primary relationship is with drugs or alcohol.

  • Drug addiction is a complex illness that impacts every aspect of a person’s life.
  • In addition, art therapy has not been found effective for all types of mental health conditions.
  • Alongside evidence-based practices such as motivational interviewing or dialectical behavioral therapy, it provides an alternative way for clients to express their emotions and explore the issues that may be contributing to their addiction.

You can notice your creative output evolve as you reconnect with your innermost thoughts and feelings. Art therapy can also be used with other types of addiction treatment for substance abuse. Fish said White saw her beautiful baked goods and fanned the creative embers in her. The two artists also bonded over their journeys of recovery from addiction and similar feelings of self-doubt as artists. In college, she started as an art major but quickly changed to something else.

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Music encourages positive emotions, increased self-esteem, increased focus, and increased relaxation. Art therapy, in general, has been viewed as a holistic and alternative approach to addiction recovery, but music has been making a bigger mainstream splash lately. This splash is not just in the addiction recovery field, it is also showing promising benefits in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, and depression. Music can be an excellent tool for calming the mind providing a way to manage stress. The use of artistic methods to treat psychological disorders and enhance mental health is known as art therapy.

Alongside evidence-based practices such as motivational interviewing or dialectical behavioral therapy, it provides an alternative way for clients to express their emotions and explore the issues that may be contributing to their addiction. With the development of modern medical technology, life expectancy is also increasing. At the same time, it also brings some side effects and psychological problems during the treatment process, especially for patients with mental illness. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for finding appropriate complementary therapies to improve life quality of patients and psychological health.

Clients learn how to stay in the now and process their feelings without the use of alcohol or other drugs. They are safe to explore difficult thoughts and challenging emotions, make important connections between those thoughts and emotions, and develop healthier coping skills. There is a lack of nationally representative data addressing the organizational settings of art and music therapy. In the current study, we assess the utilization and organizational correlates of art and music therapies in a national sample of SUD treatment centers by addressing three specific aims.

example of visual art used in art therapy for addiction

While these coloring books can be a great way to pass the time and may even help lower stress, they can’t replace real art therapy with a Registered Art Therapist. An art therapist offers a deeper level of support than you can find on your own. It is important to note that you do not need to consider yourself an “artist” or have any artistic training to enjoy the benefits of art therapy.

You can learn more about the training and educational requirements to become an art therapist on the AATA website. A 2017 study found that art displayed in hospital settings contributed to an environment where patients felt safe. It also played a role in improving socialization and maintaining an identity outside of the hospital.

  • At Clearbrook Treatment Center, we are strong supporters of using art to help with the addiction recovery process.
  • It can be a calming yet effective therapy to help you move forward in your journey toward recovery.
  • Try incorporating some of these concepts into your own practice to see the good and healing it can bring.
  • No doubt some colleagues will cringe at the idea of making public some of the more common techniques used in the field of art therapy.


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