Expressive Arts Therapy: 15 Creative Activities and Techniques

If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others enhance their wellbeing, check out this signature collection of 17 validated positive psychology tools for practitioners. Use them to help others flourish and thrive. The journal provides a safe place for a client to express their authentic voice and practice honest self-expression (Knill & Atkins, 2020). Movement can be a powerful form of self-expression to connect to the wisdom of the body and its innate healing capacity. This may include dance, but not necessarily. Cut and paste a painting to make a collage.

It teaches you how to overcome emotional roadblocks and express yourself when communicating with others. Here are some ways art therapy can help treat addiction. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. Expressive arts therapy is an intervention that can help heal the body and mind, with ancient roots in ritual, music, song, art, poetry, dance, and drama across all cultures. has free resources that can help you introduce expressive arts interventions into your practice.

Art Therapy Can Help You Focus On Something Else Other Than Your Addiction

Keeping a journal, for example, is strongly encouraged and is a way to clear one’s thoughts and emotional stress in a way that no one has to see. Besides journaling, there is poetry which takes a bit more of an artistic approach and can be just as cleansing. When we say distraction, we are referring to your ability to shift your focus from the urge to use substances to release your energy in another, healthier way. Distraction is not always effective or desirable; for example, distracting yourself with TV every time you’re stressed isn’t productive and can actually impede you from getting work done. However, if you’ve been considering picking up a substance again, turning toward art is healthier, both physically and mentally.

recovery art therapy ideas

Art therapy can be an effective component of a comprehensive treatment program, such as the individualized care found at Gateway. We believe in tailoring our treatment to the unique needs of each patient who comes to us for help. If you would like to learn more about our holistic approach to addiction recovery, we invite you to contact us today.

How Can I Be Creative?

Movement can relieve stress and can be a powerful tool for self-regulation (Jones, 1996). In the video below, somatic psychologist and dance/movement therapist Dr. Jennifer Tantia explains how she used movement to transform her client’s anxiety into a sense of agency. Rip up a drawing you made and use the pieces to create a new work of art. Get your hands messy and have a good time with finger painting, spreading the paint, creating shapes and blobs and anything that comes to mind. Crayon is an imperfect art tool.

recovery art therapy ideas

Art therapy participants are also likely to experience an increased sense of self-esteem as they realize the existence of their inner artist. An increase in self-esteem fuels people to keep going when the road to recovery starts looking too long. Writing is often seen as a more structured form of art, but abstract writing as a legitimate art form has been gaining popularity. Short stories, books, poetry, and journaling are just a few options available to those who find writing as an attractive art form. Keeping a daily journaling can be an excellent tool for addiction recovery as well as an opportunity for creative expression.

How Creativity Aids in Addiction Recovery

Depth casts art therapy ideas. Completing monotypic casts on a separate sheet with a search for deep saving meanings is a very effective art therapy crafts. Drawing with music art therapy ideas. While listening to Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons Symphony, paint the landscape in large strokes. Exercise helps relieve emotional stress.

The arts can help us recover from disasters – creatively – Pursuit

The arts can help us recover from disasters – creatively.

Posted: Fri, 09 Jun 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Collage of leaves art therapy ideas. Collect a collage of leaves, twigs, glue them to paper. Then finish painting the background, draw pictures around them. Create your own interpretation of a famous painting. Treatment providers have used art therapy in addiction treatment since the 1950s. In fact, this form of therapy is currently used in 36.8 percent of addiction treatment programs.

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 art therapy for addiction ideas (leaf color changes, wind direction). This exercise improves creative vision, relieves emotional stress. Add some crushed eggshells in several glasses with multi-colored paint.

  • Bright splashes will help express seasonal changes (leaf color changes, wind direction).
  • Divide the sheets into several rows, name each row one of the options for your behavior model.
  • With a trained art therapist, every step of the therapy process involves art.
  • Short stories, books, poetry, and journaling are just a few options available to those who find writing as an attractive art form.

The act of creating something is almost magical. Without words, you have the freedom to express complex ideas and feelings. Art therapy for substance abuse is a treatment that harnesses the power of art to help recovering addicts express thoughts and emotions they may not be able to say with words. A trained therapist who specializes in this therapeutic modality is always there to facilitate the artistic experience.

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