Art And Creativity In Addiction Recovery

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Every time you are interested in an object, come up with a name and artistic symbol for it. Draw the symbol using paints. Working with salt dough art therapy ideas.

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. 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. The researchers found that 36.8% of such programs used art therapy, demonstrating that it is an important option in many current treatment programs. 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.


Pleasant memories with loved ones and favorite places and things are our cornerstones, evoking positive, sentimental emotions that promote healthy recovery. In this exercise, clients are asked to imagine where they will be in a year if they make the changes that support recovery and create a self-portrait that reflects that. They’re then asked to perform this same exercise again, only this time, imagining where they will be in one year if nothing changes. This allows the client to visually explore the reality of changing versus the consequences of continuing down the same path. Sarah is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 13 years of experience in the behavioral health field as well as a certified provider of Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma.

A mountain represents your happiest times, and a valley represents your saddest times. You can add specific events into the artwork. Get closer to facing your fears by making what scares you more real, and relatable, through a drawing.

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. For example, consider how the brain can only hold so much information, and 12 Group Activities For Addiction Recovery it can be difficult to process it all internally. 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.

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