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Art Therapy in Recovery

Discussion in 'Sobriety Tips and Inspiration' started by geegee, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    I found several articles online that mention art therapy in recovery. I think it's a great idea. It's nice to be able to express all those negative feelings and be able to release them without resorting to addictive substances. Here are links to those articles I found:

    Has this been true for you or for someone you know?
  2. Charles P.

    Charles P. Community Advocate

    Geegee, why did you say negative feelings? I was just curious.
    Charles P.
  3. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    My aunt wanted me to draw to calm my anxiety. I thought it was ridiculous. She even bought me a board and some paint. My fault for never even trying it . I just didn't think it would help me.
  4. Serena

    Serena Active Contributor

    I think that art therapy would be a great way to help with staying sober. I know that art therapy helps in other situations, such as helping ill patients go through the healing process more effectively. Art helps people to express themselves through creative expression when the words are just not there. Many times, when a person is going through addiction, it can be difficult for the person to express what he or she is dealing with in words. According to what I have read from the articles provided, art therapy helps with relaxation and helps a person to get to know themselves better. I could see this as an effective tool to use in making the transition to sobriety.
  5. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    I guess it could be any feelings really. It's just that for me, I tended to resort to destructive behavior when I have negative feelings. I knew people who liked to smoke, drink, do drugs when they were happy, to celebrate, but that wasn't the case for me. When I was in a good mood, I had enough self-control to stop myself, but when I'm down, unhappy, angry, that's when problems start. So I guess I thought art therapy would be good for negative feelings because I was relating it to my own experience.
    Joseph likes this.
  6. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    Art therapy is one of the best approaches to overcome all kinds of exaggerated mental and physical states. And the results are often absolutely stunning. I have encountered people who never knew that they have great artistic talent until they actually laid their hands on some art materials. It can be extremely empowering to recognize one's own hidden and latent abilities.
  7. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    I think art therapy for addicts is a wonderful idea, and something I had not considered before. When I was a teenager I was in a group home. I participated in art therapy. I loved it. It might not be for everyone however. I liked talking to counselors, and I have art talent.
  8. CpXi7z1

    CpXi7z1 Member

    Feelings in themselves aren't bad; it's how we express them that can cause problems.
    Feelings in themselves aren't bad; it's how we express them that can cause problems. Art therapy also helps victims of violence and soldiers returning from war express the jumbled mess inside.
  9. One can recover from any trouble in many ways. "Arts" is one creative way. Aside from recovering, you can have artistic outputs that can be kept as something that remind you as surpassed trials in life. It can keep you memories that will remind you how you've been so firm and strong in your life. Truly art is just artistic enough to brighten up and give color to people's road to life. Music as also an art. Many people are listening to music when troubled because it can relieve us. Even others composes songs to express their bitter emotions. I believe that it is a good therapy.
  10. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree, I think art therapy can be one of the most effective ways of kicking a habit if the person can stick with it and actually see it through. Often, people who get into addiction are lost in their own minds for one reason or another and usually it's because the people around them aren't fully able to make them feel safe and secure enough to express themselves, and for people like this, art can be a great way to finally be able to do so.
  11. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    In my personal experiences, I've used art therapy to help me stop from my self destructive behavior, including my prescription drug problem and my suicidal thoughts/actions. Whether it be picking up a paint brush to paint a picture, just doodling in a notebook, or grabbing my crochet needles to create something, it helps me relieve a lot of stress. I think it's just the fact that I'm taking my negative stress and energy and turning it into something beautiful makes me feel a lot better about everything, and I know that it helps for a lot of people in a lot of situations.
  12. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I remember back in highschool we had 6 classes a day, and I was lucky enough to have an art class as my final class of the day. I have to admit, that class saved my a lot of grief and stress. You can grind yourself hard through the whole day, but that art class gave me the outlet to put all of my frustration and anxiety on whatever project I was doing at the time.

    So I can definetly agree that having an out let of expression is a great way to stay sober and relieve stress. Tried and proven in my mind and life experience.
  13. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Art therapy is widely used for quite a few situations. Why not for drug or alcohol recovery? I love it myself. It certainly does a great deal for you. Doesn't matter what level you are at it or how good you are. You just do it. I went to this art showing of a friend of a friend. I've been to quite a few art galleries and so forth. This was a showing of this guys work. It was clowns. He himself was certainly an interesting character, but when I saw the work. I'm just going to say it was different. Somewhat abstract and bold. I just thought to myself, oh my God if this guy can show his work. I certainly can. Doesn't matter there are people of all tastes. He was very persistent with this gallery and finally they allowed him to show his work. So whether you do this for yourself or other people. It is very therapeutic.
  14. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think that art can be one of those ways or activities that could help a person recover. Specially for those who are really into art or can find relieve while doing some art. It is a nice idea and anyone can try doing it.