Creative Arts Therapy

The creative therapies can be very helpful in the process of recovery from addiction. They can provide time to get in touch with the inner self and with the higher power and can provide a form of expression for feelings that cannot be easily identified or put into words. Through helping the addict connect with his/her more authentic self, the expressive therapies can help raise self-esteem and provide an opportunity to create new experiences beyond habitual and painful emotional patterns. The creative arts foster a renewed ability to relax without drugs or alcohol.


American Art Therapy Association (AATA) (
Describes the therapeutic process of art therapy, posts research articles on its use, and in the Members section provides links to Chapter web sites throughout the U.S. to locate practitioners who are AATA members.

Creative Guide through the 12 Steps (
This blog page offers specific instructions for using creative arts projects as a supplement to working the 12 steps. It suggests activities and projects for both groups and individuals that address the meaning of various steps in the 12-step program.

Creative Source (
Adriana Marchione, MA, CHT, specializes in working with recovery from all forms of addiction. Her work offers creative healing opportunities that complement psychotherapy and twelve-step programs. Her approach draws from a movement-based expressive arts therapy model and Depth Hypnosis - a method of hypnotherapy that utilizes hypnosis, meditation and shamanic techniques. Through individual and group sessions this therapeutic approach employs a variety of methods to support emotional and physical health, creative growth and a deeper connection to life. Recovery groups and retreats are also available that offer the opportunity for participants to express their stories in words, images and movement both in the studio and in natural surroundings.

National Coalition of Arts Therapies Associations (
Founded in 1979, this coalition brings together the professional associations dedicated to the advancement of six creative arts therapies. Their web site provides basic information on these approaches: art, dance/movement, drama, music, psychodrama and poetry. Each modality uses the creative process to support health, communication, self-expression, and positive change.


American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) (
Provides information on the field of dance therapy including its philosophy, training and credentials, and research. The Contacts page lists members who serve as contacts for various regions in the U.S. and the Information page contains a form to purchase the ADTA membership directory ($10.00) in order to locate a dance therapy practitioner.


National Association for Drama Therapy (NADT) (
Describes the process of drama therapy, educational qualifications for therapists, and provides contact information for regional representatives in order to locate member practitioners by geographic area.


American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) (
Explains the practice and applications of music therapy and provides information on how to find a music therapist through calling the AMTA National Office or e-mailing

Drumming (
Drumming can be a simple yet powerful way to enhance recovery. New medical research shows that it can slow down brain wave cycles, enhancing theta-wave production and brain wave synchronization.  This is important as addicts often have brain wave abnormalities as explained in our section on brain wave biofeedback.


National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT) (
Poetry therapy is the intentional use of the written and spoken word for healing and personal growth. Their web site provides links to poetry sites and training and education information. A Mentor list posted on their web site under Training and Education can be used to locate a poetry therapy practitioner in various geographical locations in the U.S.