Our partner

Blog Stats
9514Total Entries
3829Total Comments
Search Blogs

Random Blog Entry
Art Therapy & Addiction: As a Treatment For Substance Abuse by mnlfoojan on Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:30 am
Usually people who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse or other forms of addictive behaviors come from a background of abuse or neglect or have experienced some kind of trauma when they were younger. Being in these situations, a child and/or a young person can experience various painful feelings such as fear, helplessness, shame, guilt, sadness and eventually hopelessness. Becoming overwhelmed by these emotions and not having anybody to help them and validate their feelings may lead to them learning to run away and avoid such feelings to protect against pain or become consumed by those feelings and act upon them impulsively. Later in life, they may use substances or engage in addictive and destructive activities to numb those painful feelings. Despite their effort in avoiding these emotions, they are stored implicitly in a deeper level of the brain and will be triggered more often than they may have expected.

These emotions that have been stored in a less conscious part of the brain may not be accessible verbally, but can be found symbolically in images that the person creates. Therefore, the goal of art therapy is to access these hidden and avoided emotions that once had the purpose of protecting the individual, but either have been denied or exaggerated and lost its purpose to rediscover their adaptive qualities.

Images in an art therapy session can simply be composed of a few lines, colors or pictures from a magazine to more elaborate drawings, clay sculptures and other forms of creativity. These images will give an expert art therapist the opportunity to help the recovering person uncover meanings behind the symbolic images, discover more information about oneself than just talking and open many deep thoughts and emotions. Participants in art therapy don’t need to have any skills in art.

Talking about feelings can be very frightening and painful for a person who has been avoiding them for a long time. This person may not even be able to verbally express him/herself, but may be able to express thoughts and feelings about past and present events and situations non=verbally through lines, shapes and pictures. Creating them can become a new form of communication which is less threatening and safer for the recovering person.

Individuals struggling with addiction are usually very judgmental of themselves and are flooded with shame and guilt. Creating art can give them a tangible, concrete perception of their feelings and thoughts and give them the opportunity to observe themselves from a distance which can help them gain a new, less judgmental and more compassionate understanding of self.

Recovering individuals may engage in a simple art project whenever they feel overwhelmed or have an urge to take drugs/alcohol or engage in an addictive activity to distract and sooth themselves. Creating can give them a sense of control over the situation and a tool to accept and manage overwhelming feelings. Using their hands while using art materials such as colored pencils, markers, crayons, clay, paper and scissors can help them release some of their avoided feelings such as anger and lower its intensity, and to sooth and calm themselves when they are anxious.

In general, in art therapy sessions, the recovering person will be given permission and opportunity to experience and express those feelings that he/she has been running away from and avoiding for a long time in a safe and supporting atmosphere, with the presence of an empathic professional psychotherapist /art therapist who will help him/her understand and make sense of those painful feelings, acknowledge and accept them with compassion, reduce their intensity and tolerate them, and finally use them effectively to fulfill their needs and goals.

0 Comments Viewed 10463 times
Feed Recent Blog Entries
projecting? by tiredwife on Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:08 pm
I have always heard that when being accused of something (that you aren't and haven't done,) it's more than likely because your accuser is guilty of such. I'm certain this doesn't apply to every situation,...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 563 times
Do I sound like an aspergirl? OCD, Tourettes, by Queencoco on Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:45 am
Hi there!
20 year old girl looking for some guidance.
I have a history of mental health issues but have never been diagnosed with anything. My dad has Tourettes with ocd and my sister has anxiety disorder....

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 63845 times
Shoplifting Mother!! HELP! by Greyartist on Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:13 am
Hi, this will be my first post on here and I really need some advice or help and I’m beyond desperate. My mother is a shoplifter, and I’m only a teenager and I’m the only one in the family that knows and I...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 43583 times
Personality Disorder by recklesswho on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:04 pm
I don't know whats going on with me, its getting worse and im getting tired. Im a boy, 20 years old and I can't remember as many details as I would like to remember about who and what I was before that...

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 40498 times
i feel terrible by peachyjordyn on Wed May 30, 2018 10:37 pm
so, i was about 12 when all of this had happened. it started with a prank where my friend dared me to pretend to be this girls boyfriend online (i am a female). i wanted to stop the prank but my friend...

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 31259 times
Feed Recent Comments
Re: Personality Disorder by Snaga on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:57 pm
Well hoping that you find someone who can help. Welcome to the blog section! Please be sure to go to hospital if you feel the immediate urge to harm yourself, also remember we have a self-harm forum...

[ Continued ]

Re: i feel terrible by Snaga on Thu May 31, 2018 12:47 am
I'm not sure anything you did as a kid can be held against you like that in the future, juvenile records used to be sealed. Sounds as if you were doing stuff kids do, to me. Not that it was smart or advisable,...

[ Continued ]

Re: Please Help me figure out what's wrong with me by Objectified on Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:35 am
May be you wanted to feel more important and therefore you lied so that you will get the attention you did not receive. Do you recall your parents neglecting you in any way? Or may be, were you jealous...

[ Continued ]

Re: Please Help me figure out what's wrong with me by Snaga on Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:20 am
Hello and welcome to the forums! You might find the blogs don't get much responses, you might consider posting in one of the forums. I'm not sure which forum- you might find it better to break your story...

[ Continued ]

Re: I'm worried I might be a sociopath. Please help? by Snaga on Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:33 am
It doesn't much sound as if you are one. The blogs won't get much reply, consider posting in forum, perhaps in Living With Mental Illness, or one of the anxiety forums, if this seems to be an obsessional...

[ Continued ]

Who is online

Registered users: AcidProphet, AmirElAchmed, Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], birdsong87, Dwelt, easiersaidthandone, Exabot [Bot], fireheart, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], Google Feedfetcher, justonemoreperson, LearnToLoveTheRide, lilyfairy, Majestic-12 [Bot], Muninn, SelfSerf, Servicefls, Son, vcrpamphlet, xdude