Art Therapy for Emotional Containment in Adult Populations with Substance Use Disorder

Thumbnail Image
Guada, Sara
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This is a quantitative pilot study with participants self-identified as having a history with substance use disorder (SUD). The purpose of this study is to explore therapeutic benefits for symptoms of anxiety and depression, using art interventions, in populations dealing with SUD. Art interventions are centered around a theoretical lens based in mindfulness. Containing emotions is part of a mindfulness practice, is an important aspect in relapse prevention and is discussed within the context of how self-care and mindfulness can be interrelated. Other theoretical lens used are Solution-Focused Therapy and Existentialism. This study is a quantitative, arts-based research. The research sample is 29 people who identify as being in recovery from SUD. The session begins with demographics and assessments, followed by a guided meditation, two art directives, a discussion, and then post-session assessments and questions. The guided meditation and art directives are designed to give participants tools for self-regulate. The control group will not have art interventions and will be offered the art interventions post-session. Their sessions were wrapped up by reflecting on their experience, repeating the assessments, and completing a questionnaire. They are then invited to participate in the art directives. This study was done in group sessions and was be facilitated at a community center.