Utilizing Art Therapy to Increase Hopefulness and Self-Worth Among Adults with Substance Use Disorders: Breaking the Stigma

Thumbnail Image
Reed, Nora
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This qualitive research study investigated the effectiveness of art therapy to increase hopefulness in sustained recovery, overcoming stigma associated with substance use history, effectiveness of group art therapy, and establishment of self-worth among adults with substance use disorders (SUD). A qualitative study is traditionally utilized to gain understanding of underlying reasons, opinions and motivations. This study allowed participants to experience and gain understanding of self-worth through art-making, instead of traditional verbal communication. Participants were members of an out-patient treatment group, included both men and women and ranged in age from 18 to 65 years old. Participants completed pre- and post-assessments and engaged in four art therapy directives specifically determined to elicit thoughts, feelings, and emotions related to perceptions of hopefulness and self-worth. Themes were determined from analysis of the data and utilized to determine results of the study. An analysis of the data indicated themes of increased relaxation, hopefulness, and confidence. These results could help validate utilization of art therapy with adults in substance use treatment as an effective and valuable method for treatment.