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. I’m an artist, therapist, educator, and visual translator working to help make mental health education accessible to everyone. After a decade in tech, I transitioned to working in the mental health field and in 2019 earned a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

Movement can be a powerful form of self-expression to connect to the wisdom of the body and its innate healing capacity. Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive CBT Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will provide you with detailed insight 50 Sobriety Gifts Ideas, Effective Substance Abuse Treatment into Positive CBT and give you the tools to apply it in your therapy or coaching. We understand what you’re going through and we can help you or a loved one survive addiction and find happiness in your life again. You don’t have to try to cope with life and addiction all on your own.

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Reach out to us now, no matter the time of day or night, even if you’re not sure what you want to do yet and just need someone to listen. Every vignette, case study, or reference to a client has been adapted and adjusted for legal and ethical publication. Names, demographics, and other identifying information have all been changed in order to protect client identity, confidentiality, and privacy. The information presented in each example is for educational purposes only, intended to illustrate a concept, technique, or activity. In therapy, Jane drew her unhelpful view of the problem as a dark, messy blob of lines and jagged shapes.

Additionally, when you ask clients to place themselves in their drawings, you get lots of good information about where they might be stuck and why. Container exercises are wonderfully versatile art therapy activities for adults and kids alike. Containers provide an excellent metaphor to work through a number of issues, including anxiety, unresolved grief, family secrets, and childhood trauma, to name a few. This art therapy activity for adults explores “unfinished business”, using the container as a metaphor for repressed/buried/unresolved feelings, regrets, goals, dreams, etc. This simple yet powerful art therapy directive works well for clients who are struggling to define who they are.

Engaging Adults in Art Therapy

Exercise is already an effective way to aid addiction recovery, and dance therapy takes art expression and combines it with physical movement. These two together can make for a great tool to improve mood, increase focus and aide creative rehabilitation. A combination of emotional expression through the art of dance, as well as the release of hormones from physical activity, can increase healing on a physical, mental and emotional level.

recovery painting ideas

Sometimes the clients we work with come to therapy because somewhere along the way, they got stuck in a life transition. For some reason, they couldn’t quite navigate the developmental milestone, and they got stuck. I give the clients various drawing tools (these sharpies work really well on the boxes), cardstock in various colors, and I also like to offer these brightly colored index cards. I instruct them to decorate the outside in ways that represent how they show who they are to the world. Facilitating this art therapy activity for adults is pretty straightforward and can be done in a single session, or carried over several sessions.

Recovery Symbols to Celebrate Your Sobriety

Take a beloved childhood toy and transform it into a work of art, either by patching its holes, replacing its ragged parts or going a more avant-garde route. You’ll finally be able to return your beloved teddy to its rightful spot on your bed, while proudly displaying an original objet d’art. Don’t have the time (or the funds) to invest in a new batch of art tools? No worries, all you need to get creative is your own beautiful body. Explore the possibilities of your own anatomy — the plush curves of your fingertip, the sharp edge of your nail, the capabilities of hand and foot and even hair, if you’re feeling bold.

recovery painting ideas

The meaning machine she created was made of clean, round shapes and bright colors. After “sending” her old view through her meaning machine, a large heart filled with brightly-colored segments “came out” the other side. Reframes can honor and highlight the client’s mission versus focusing on the negative. For example, for the mother I mentioned above, I’ll call her Jane, a reframe of her past drug use and subsequent recovery allowed her to process through the guilt she felt. Through our work together, we determined that Jane’s drug use was a way for her to ‘sound the alarm bells’ about the overwhelm she felt as a single mom of 3 young children.

These can be made by drawing, painting, mask making, sculpture, photography, or mixed media using a combination of these materials. Drama therapy is a safe method for exploring these roles in a nonthreatening way (Jones, 1996). Masks and puppets can also be used to explore roles and express difficult feelings rather than participating in active role-play if a client is uncomfortable expressing themselves directly. In the video below, expressive arts therapist Natalie Rogers uses the two techniques mentioned during a therapy session with the same client. However, expressive arts therapists are not expert arts practitioners.

Drug rehab in Payson will make addiction recovery possible for you. Recovery is undoubtedly a challenging journey, but there are better things laid out for you at… They then can simply let their minds free and draw different designs inside each shape, being as creative as they wish.

From a liger to a jellyfish-dragon to a pegasus-zebra, the only limit to the wildlife available to you are the zoological limits of your mind. Overhaul the concept of a blank canvas by selecting a surface that already tells a vivid story. Apply pigment to a mirror or window, and let your brushstrokes mingle with whatever’s already gracing your uncanny canvas — be it a snowy day or your own reflection. We’re tweaking the tradition a little bit, thus freeing up the possibilities of what shapes your new dream guardian can take. Create a dangling sculpture to hang above your bed that will watch over you while you sleep.

  • This prompt was intended to be playful and invitational, although even prescribed art can be expressive.
  • Drama therapy is a safe method for exploring these roles in a nonthreatening way (Jones, 1996).
  • For one art group, we recently hosted a “Paint Along with Bob Ross” night.
  • Creating something from your soul means that there will be nothing else in the world that looks or sounds the same.
  • Create a power mask, filled with symbols that make you feel strong (think of an actor’s costume or athlete’s helmet).

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