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  • This topic is important to me because like many other people it’s hard for me to talk about how I feel. I’ve been a patient in psychotherapy and I feel like it wasn’t beneficial to me. I’m not a good artist, but this year I became interested in it. I found it to be a really good personal therapy. When I began researching it I was fascinated at how many different ways people can express themselves through art and the therapeutic effect it has on them as well. This year has been a really tough year for me and i experienced a lot emotional turmoil. I had originally planned to do my project on the art therapy done with kids in early childhood education. Because of life circumstances, my topic had changed to be more based on art therapy and addiction recovery. I used this project to help myself in my own recovery. Doing this project has helped a lot more than I could put into words, and I plan to use this new skill as a coping mechanism for the future.\n
  • In my presentation I will go over: what is art therapy, how is done, what is an art therapist, who uses art therapy, the FEATS, the PPAT case study, art therapy and addiction recovery and lastly art therapy and my own recovery.\n
  • Art therapy is any form of creative expression that is used to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well being of people of all ages. It is believed that creative process enables people to resolve conflicts and problems, reduce stress, manage behavior and feelings, achieve insight, and improve self-esteem and self-awareness.\n
  • Art therapy is a combination of psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy and any form of creative expression. It began in the early 20th century educators began to notice that they could follow children’s developmental progress through their artwork. Around the same time art therapy programs were beginning to be introduced and used in hospitals and rehabilitation centers using art as a medium between therapists and patients, for healing, and therapy. Since then art therapy has gained much recognition as being an important and effective method of treatment and assessment. \n
  • Drawing is the most common form of art therapy, but it is not limited to only that. It can also be done by means of painting, sculpture, photography, music, dance or other visual arts. \n
  • People are usually much more receptive to this form of treatment, this is because it is much less intimidating. As I stated before a sit down session with a therapist using a verbal based interaction can be much harder for some people to participate in. So rather than using the typical verbal based therapeutic sessions patients can be artistically expressive while the therapist can evaluate their work. \n
  • An art therapist is a trained therapist that is also specialized in art education. They are also known as Art Psychotherapists. They use art as a medium for healing, self-awareness and development, using materials such as clay, crayons, pens, markers, paint and other art supplies. They provide a safe environment for therapy with non-verbal based communication by encouraging the patient to sort through their emotions and feelings through the art they create. This form of therapy is not based on a persons artistic qualities. The art is interpreted by the therapist, they are trained to pick up on the symbols and metaphors expressed by their patients through their creation.\n
  • Art therapy isn’t limited to any particular set group of people but rather a wide variety. It can be used to help people with; family and relationship issues, depression, mental health conditions, substance abuse and addiction, abuse and domestic violence, social and emotional issues, trauma and loss, anxiety, learning disabilities, stress or pressure, eating disorders or by means for self reflection and personal discovery.\n
  • Though art therapy is usually done in a professional setting it is not limited to only that. It can be easily done by your own means, as a form of self expression, discovery or used for a personal therapeutic experience. Even though art therapy can be done on your own if a person feels that they need professional help they should seek a trained art therapist for treatment.\n
  • In my research I came across a few creative ideas of different forms of art. Bracelet making and wax sculpture were two that caught my interest the most. At Harris Methodist Springwood Hospital in Bedford patients were told to melt candle wax onto a coat hanger. Occupational therapist Amy Sommerfield said “It's hard to predict what will grow out of the streams of melted wax that patients carefully drip onto coat hangers. Sometimes it's a weeping willow, a cross or an abstract design. Often it is the beginning of recovery.”\n
  • In wax sculpture and bracelet making alike the same idea is interpreted, that art really is any form of creative expression. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a masterpiece of art work, any art creation can be therapeutic. This is because being involved in something by creating it can not only distract you from your own anxiety, depression or any other emotion that you’re struggling with, it can also give you a relaxing outlet, and something so simple also gives you an interest in life again.\n
  • For my class activity, I’d like you to draw a picture of a person picking an apple from a tree.\n
  • The FEATS (formal elements art therapy scale) is a pilot study done by Linda M. Grant and Paula Howie, later revised and better understood by Grant and Carmello Tabone. It is a grading scale for art therapists to better understand the artwork done by their patients. It is still in the process of being created and revised so different categories may be altered, or taken out all together as others may be added. \n
  • The picture you just drew was based on the idea of the PPAT case study. I’ll explain what this study was beginning with FEATS (formal elements art therapy scale). The FEATS was created based on the PPAT (person picking an apple from a tree) project. Over 5,000 works were collected from a variety of psychiatric hospitals for the case study. Patients were told to draw a picture, such as the one you just drew with the same guidelines that I gave to you. These works were then graded from a zero to a five, based on fourteen different scales. \n
  • The fourteen different scales that are used are as follows. The prominence of color, how much color is used. Space, how much space was used for the picture. Integration, how are the different aspects of the picture were or brought together. The details of objects and the environment, did they follow directions in a concrete fashion or add abundant detail? Person, how well did the the artist depict the person in the drawing. Rotation, are the people and objects in the rotation that they realistically should be. \n
  • Logic and realism, how well the picture makes logical sense. Problem solving, how is the person going about getting the apple from the tree. Implied energy, how much energy was required to make the picture. The developmental level of the picture, the level at which the artist is perceived. \n
  • Line quality, the degree of control, fluid and flowing lines are graded higher. Lastly, they are graded on their perseveration, are there repeated motor acts such as short lines being repeated without the artist being aware they are doing so?\n
  • Art therapy is commonly used for recovery with alcohol or substance abuse. This is because it is especially effective with addicts and alcoholics. The reason for this being that this particular group of people usually have a traumatic past and are intimidated by the idea of psychotherapy. Rather than saying lets sit down on a couch and talk about painful experiences and memories art therapy gives a less threatening approach to therapy. \n
  • This form of artistic self expression, gives them an therapeutic experience without them really realizing they are getting it. Art therapists can depict their creations while they get a distraction from destructive memories, emotions and habits without the influence of drugs or alcohol. \n
  • They are given an therapeutic outlet to let go of the world and intruding thoughts in their head if only for a little bit. Addicts and alcoholics alike commonly do not know how to express their thoughts and feelings, which makes psychotherapy especially hard for them to do. As with other patients they progress in their own development, conflicts, concerns and receive personal growth through their art.\n
  • Art therapy not only assists addicts in their recovery but also can enable them to confront their addictive behaviors. The most prominent trait of addiction is denial. Denial allows the addict to choose not to see or accept their addiction and continue in their behaviors. An addict cannot fully recover until they accept and acknowledge their addiction. Art therapy can help an addict to open their eyes to their addiction, in order for them to want and receive the help they need.\n
  • An example of the idea of an addict/alcoholic accepting their own denial through art is Bob. Bob is a fifty year old male caucasian alcoholic who was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for five days. During his stay he attended two art therapy sessions. In his first session he was withdrawn and unsure about the idea of drawing. He was told to use the scribble technique, with hope that he would trigger his spontaneous imagery. Once he began to scribble he noticed the image of a face, he then began to make and take away lines in order to produce a self portrait of himself.\n
  • When he had completed his self portrait the art therapist asked him to explain what his portrait portrayed. He described his picture as being “one hell of a drunk”. When he elaborated on this idea he said “this is what I look like when I’m drinking” and “I don’t like what I see.” The article I read on Bob’s case stated that his image was “true-to-life and provided a genuine representation of his addictive nature. Through his self portrait Bob came face to face with his addictive practices, which until then he had been unable to renounce.”\n
  • The art therapist then rotated the picture Bob explained that the image was “a man wearing a blindfold and he is frowning”. He expressed to the art therapist saying “I don’t want to see my problem”, he also stated “I am a hostage to my addiction”. Bob is a perfect example that art therapy can help an addict or an alcoholic to admit and accept their addiction, leading them on their own road to recovery.\n
  • I mentioned Harris Methodist Spring wood Hospital in my previous slides, and I’d like to talk more about the way that they go about addiction recovery. I spoke briefly about the idea of the wax sculpture that is done there. The reason that activities such as collaging and candle melting is used with recovering addicts and alcoholics is because they are long and involved processes. Another common trait among this class of people is the need for instant gratification. Unlike, alcohol or other substances the cutting and pasting process and waiting for a candle to light, melt and form into a sculpture takes time and patience.\n
  • This time gives people time to reflect and think. A fourteen year old patient by the name of Morgen said that candle melting helps calm her. She said that “when the candle goes out you have to relight it, and it takes a long time for the wax to build up” she followed that statement by saying “that helps you learn to deal with things and build patience”. These are two things that addiction steals from you, and art therapy can help you learn them again.\n
  • They do also use traditional forms of art therapy such as drawing. An example of the projects they do would be having patients trace their hands on a piece of paper. On one hand they represent what they want to hold onto in life and on the other what they would like to let go of. \n
  • When I read what Springwood hospital did with their patients I decided I’d like to try it myself. Sitting outside, because that is where I did the majority of my project, I traced my hands. I looked at the shape of my hands for the longest time and didn’t know where to begin. So, I decided to start with what I want to let go of, just because there is so much that I would love to put in the past. After filling the outline of my hand with words I moved onto what I wanted to hold onto. Looking at my finished hands, I realized that the things that are holding me back from my own happiness, are the things that I cannot change, because most were mistakes, or things of the past. Since, I cannot fix or change them it would be silly for me to dwell on them. So I wrote on the palm of my hand “I will let go of the things that I cannot change.” On the other hand I wrote what it was that I want to hold onto. These ended up being the simplest of things, like truth, faith, forgiveness and lessons learned. Each of these can be easily achieved but can provide me with the most sincere happiness. \n
  • I did a piece much like this while I was staying at White Deer Run Rehabilitation Center. The staff had us draw a heart and inside the heart we had to write exactly what is on our hearts; the troubles in our live, the thoughts that bother us and what holds us back from happiness. On the outside of the heart we wrote how we react to the troubles on our heart, and the problems we face in our everyday lives. When we all shared with each other at the end of the group session, it came as a surprise to all of us to find that we commonly shared the same concerns and feelings, but also that we dealt with our issues in relatively the same manors. We discussed how we currently cope with our inner turmoils, which in the majority were negative ways. We then together thought of more positive skills that we could try to put to use in the future.\n
  • When you begin a project like the hand or the heart, you feel stuck at the beginning and don’t know where to start or what to say. Once you put down your first idea, the rest just come flowing out of your pen or your pencil and onto the paper. It’s amazing at what ease ideas come to you. Your inner thoughts come to surface without you being aware, or even able to control the fact that they are. Both of the projects were refreshing. I say that in the sense that when you write down troubles such as the hand and heart project were searching for, it feels as though you are admitting to things that are hard to say you struggle dealing with. Once they are on the paper, and you are able to see them for yourself, you feel as though you have let go of painful feelings, that you may not have even known you were holding inside.\n
  • For my application component I made my own portfolio of art work. When I first started, I was just doing it to get it done for my project. After I actually sat down and started to draw, everything I read and learned about art being therapeutic actually came into play in my own life. I started finding myself turning to art for an escape. I have never known how to express how I felt, talk about what was on my mind or even where to turn when I was upset, distressed, sad or overwhelmed. I believe that when this project is done, I still will use art as an outlet for all my feelings. \n
  • I started using art therapy without even realizing it. Back in December I was admitted to Brooke Glenn Behavioral Hospital. My life, my actions and my thoughts had spiraled out of my control, and I didn’t know who I was let alone what I thought, felt or believed. During my stay at the hospital I felt alone and detached. Like I’ve said I have never been able to understand my feelings, and I never knew where to turn. As you probably all know no one can go forever refusing to understand themselves. My isolation to my emotions put me in a place that I never want to return to. Instead of reaching out to someone, or trying to work though my problems, I turned to alcohol and other substances for an escape like many other people do. \n
  • So when I was admitted to the hospital it had been a decent amount of time since I had to deal with my own thoughts. It was hard because by using drugs and alcohol I had created a whole new world of problems then I had before. That I now had to deal with along with the problems i had previous to me using. One day at the hospital it was recommended to me by my social worker that I should start to journal and try to make sense of what was going on inside my head. Journaling did help me a lot. I found myself most of the time lost in a book just writing. I found it much easier to write than think, it felt like when I began to put my thoughts on a page I was letting them go. \n
  • One night I was in my room and journaling again. I began to read back to my first journal entry and realized that every thought I put on the page was negative. I hated seeing that I felt the way I did. When I woke up the next morning I knew that I needed to change my mind set or I would never get better. So when I went into the common room of my unit I noticed stacks of magazines. I sat down and began to cut out every inspirational and positive quote or picture that I could find. I then proceeded to cut them out and glue them over top of all my journal entries. When I was finished and there was no trace of my negative thinking anymore, I wrote myself a letter in the back of the book. \n
  • My letter read, “12/31/2010, When I first got this book I began writing everything that was going on inside my head. To realize all the negative thoughts and pain that were trapped inside of me felt good. I kept writing poems and letters to myself about hate, regret, failure and lost hope. Then i had a change of heart I realized I didn’t like how i felt and the way I was living. I was in control of what was happening. I can change my path and I want better for myself. I am ashamed and I want change. The first step is to think positively. So i covered all my negative thoughts with positive ones. I’m ready to start my future. Carolyn.”\n
  • After eight days in Brooke Glenn, I had accepted that I had a problem and that I did want help. So I signed myself into White Deer Run Rehabilitation Center in Allen wood, PA. At the rehab we had a lot of groups that incorporated art with the therapy that was given to us. An example of a project that I really liked was the mask project. This was where they had us design a mask. On one side of our mask we wrote what we show the world, and how we believe that we are perceived by other people. On the reverse side we were instructed to write the way that we really are and how we truly felt. My mask I had written that the world sees me for the most part as; confident, brave, having a perfect life, happy, independent, a lot of money and having it all together. \n
  • On the other side of the mask, the reality of it was that I’m falling apart, my life is out of my control, i don’t think I’ll ever be enough, jealous, afraid, poor, sad, insecure, alone and confused. This was an activity designed to help us better understand that we all wear masks and that theres more to people than we can see. \n
  • We did a lot of different projects much like this, such as drawing our own dream island. This was where we created our own island, with our own rules and we were in complete control of what we wanted and didn't want in our dream worlds. On my island my only rules were no hate no lies and have fun. Other girls had things like only cute boys were allowed, and for most of us it was always sunny. There was no problems, and the troubles that we all commonly shared didn’t exist in our dream worlds. These activities were designed to give us an escape. It helped us to realize what we wanted, and to be able to push the negative things in our lives that we dwelled on to the side, and have a short time to dream. \n
  • I did quite a few different pieces of art in my own recovery. Out of all of them there is one that I would like to share. This piece means a lot to me because I feel like it is the one that is the most closely related to how I am feeling. In this picture there is a broken wine glass. The glass is broken because the person holding it doesn’t want the life that they are living, but their addiction won’t allow them to let go. There is a entity of faceless people on the right representing the “friends” of the wine glass holder. They are all saying to the holder you are happy, but the word happy is actually outlined with the words lies, hate, regret, lonely and sad. This was done to represent that the alcohol and company of the friends is giving the wine glass holder a false happiness. On the left hand side there is a hand reaching out to the wine glass holder, but they are not quite close enough to touch them. This was done to represent all of the people that do care and want to help the wine glass holder. They want to help the addict, but until they let go of the wine glass completely they cannot receive the help that they need, and is being offered to them. I like this piece a lot because it really shows how it feels to be the one holding onto the glass. Many times people get angry and say things like “why don’t you just stop”. It’s not that addicts and alcoholics don’t want to stop, it’s often because they are scared, or simply do not know how to let go.\n
  • Through Brooke Glenn, White Deer Run and this senior graduation project I learned that I do have other options. Still, I do not know how to talk about my problems, and I still find it difficult to express how I feel with words. I now know that if I am feeling like I can’t understand myself, all I need to do is pick up a pencil and a piece of paper. My emotions, problems and feelings all come out and start to make a little more sense. It not only provides me with a short distraction, it gives me a chance to let go of everything that I can’t hold in. \n\n\nI put together a short video for my application. This is to show you some of what I have created in my own personal recovery.\n
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  • In conclusion, I would like to end with a quote from Pablo Picasso. He said “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” I liked this quote because I have found it to be true. Art can make you forget, or learn to accept or deal with the “dust” in your life, that you hold in your head or on your heart. I have found that art can indeed provide a therapy that psychotherapy cannot. Creating something can not only help you to express the things you cannot say, but it also provides a distraction from the troubles of everyday life. I have found this project to be extremely beneficial in my own recovery. Through my research and application of the topic into my own life, I have become extremely interested in maybe pursuing art therapy as a career of my own. I hope that this field becomes more widely known and used, because I feel like many other people can benefit from it as much as I did.\n
  • For my works sited, I used alot of really good periodicals and websites. The ones that I found most useful were the American Art Therapy Association Website, to find information on art therapy. To find information on addiction recovery I found a couple really good periodicals on different case studies and project ideas done with recovering addicts and alcoholics on ESCOHOST.\n
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    1. 1. ARTCarolyn Ashton
    2. 2. personal relevance
    3. 3. OVERVIEW• What is Art • FEATS Therapy? • PPAT Case• How is it done? Study• What is an Art • Art Therapy and Therapist? Addiction Recovery• Who uses Art • Art Therapy and Therapy? My Own Recovery
    4. 4. • Art therapy is ANY form of creative expression that is used to i m p r o v e and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well being of people of all ages. It is BELIEVED that creative process enables people to resolve conflicts and problems, reduce stress, MANAGE behavior and feelings, achieve insight, and IMPROVE self-esteem and self-awareness.
    5. 5. class activity
    6. 6. DE·NI·AL: refusalto a c k n o w l e d ge a person or a thing
    7. 7. “This is what I look like when I’mdrinking and I don’t like what I see.”
    8. 8. “I’m a hostage to my addiction.”
    9. 9. “That helps you learn to deal with things and build patience”
    10. 10. application
    11. 11. “ washes from the soul the dust of Art everyday life.” -Pablo Picasso
    12. 12. Works CitedAmerican Art Therapy Association . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <>. The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) created this website. It has a lot of great resources about the association. There are many links that will provide me with information like who they are, what they do, their mission and their history. This will provide me with the research I will need to know the background and other facts about the AATA.Hanes, Michael J. “’Face-to-Face’ with Addiction: The Spontaneous Production of Self-Portraits in Art Therapy.” Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association 24: 33-36. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 7 May 2011. <>. I found this article by Michael J Hanes when searching for information about addiction recovery through art therapy. I found this one especially interesting. I think it is interesting because it explains how before an addict or alcoholic must accept their addiction before they can receive treatment. Not only did it say that but it told how art can help a person accept their addiction. Through two different case studies, you see that art can prove to someone their own denial. I plan to use one of these two men as an example in my research.Jarvis, Jan. “Patients Find New Paths to Recovery.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram 24 Nov. 2007: n. pag. Newspaper Source. Web. 5 May 2011. < vid=4&hid=15&sid=8764901c-0312-47eb-b085-6efd23c9ff28%40sessionmgr114&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=nfh&AN=2W62W6571071064>. This is a newspaper article about different ways that patients deal with recovery. It discuses different therapeutic ways of expression. It will be beneficial to my research because it explains why creative expression is better therapy than discussion is. It also has given me a few great ideas to use for my application component!Expressive Art Therapy for Addiction. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2011. <>.Gannt, Linda M, and Bruceton Mills. “The Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale: A Measurement System for Global Variables in Art.” MasterFILE Premier. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. <http://>. This periodical was very informative and will benefit me greatly with providing information for my senior graduation project. I’m doing my project on art therapy and this article was written on how art is evaluated for therapeutic reasons. There are different scales that the people rating the work will use, usually a 1-10 scale in all different categories. This article broke down what the categories were, and how each one relates and can be read in therapeutic terms.Giacco, Maureen Del. “Art Therapy Verses Psychotherapy.” MasterFILE Premier. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Apr. 2011. <>. This article will also be beneficial to my research on art therapy. It goes into detail explaining what psychotherapy is and how it requires no motor skills. Art therapy requires you to think and act using parts of your brain that need to be used. It explains the DAT system that works to rebuild brain pathways, relieve stress and provide cognitive rehabilitation.Traraglia, Dennis, et al. Artistis Show Human Side of Addiction and Recovery N.p., n.d. Web. 4 May 2011. <>. I came across this website with my application in mind. it will help me because it gives a background to art therapy in addiction. It also mentions a few piece ideas that can help me in creating my application component art portfolio. “The National Program Office of Innovators Combating Substance Abuse has organized several events on art and addiction, acknowledging this creativity- recovery connection and using art to place a human face on addiction and recovery.” I plan to look into this program to learn more for my application component.
    13. 13. Works Cited52:365 - Rainerbow. Photograph. Web. <>.Addiction. Photograph. Web. <>.Art Therapy 5 Cents. Photograph. Web. <>.Candles. Photograph. Web. <>.Clock. Photograph. Web. <>.Create Color. Photograph. Web. <>.Create. Photograph. Web. <>.DArtagnan Kind of Riddle. Photograph. Web. <>.Drawing Days. Photograph. Web. <>.Eye of the Artist. Photograph. Web. <>.Figure One. Photograph. Web. <>.Figure Two. Photograph. Web. <>.Finishing Touches. Photograph. Web. <>.Free Expression. Photograph. Web. <>.Free Expression. Photograph. Web. <>.Heart. Photograph. Web. <>.Hong Kong, Wanchai - Learn Live Create. Photograph. Web. <>.Lose and Find. Photograph. Web. <>.Luminence Solstice Celebration. Photograph. Web. <>.MGP8194 Photograph. Web. <>.MOC-003. Photograph. Web. <>.Monet or Manet? Photograph. Web. <>.Monet or Manet? Photograph. Web. <>.Night Time Wonders. Photograph. Web. <>.Not Now. Photograph. Web. <>.Now Hold Still. Photograph. Web. <>.One Hundred and Sixteen - To Create. Photograph. Web. <>.Photograph. Web. <>.Photograph. Web. <>.Psychedelic Face. Photograph. Web. <>.Shrag. Photograph. Web. <>.Sol De Bolsillo. Photograph. Web. <>.Therapy in Session through Quilting. Photograph. Web. <>.Untitled. Photograph. Web. <>.Untitled. Photograph. Web. <>.Untitled. Photograph. Web. <>.