Part II of Art as Therapy: Transforming Recovery with Sarah Smith
June 17, 2024

Part II of Art as Therapy: Transforming Recovery with Sarah Smith

This week on Sisters in Sobriety, we explore the transformative power of art therapy in addiction recovery. Joining us is Sarah Smith who will guide us through the fascinating intersections of creativity and healing. Sarah is a passionate artist and non-traditional art therapist, owning Soul-Full Art Therapy where she helps individuals explore the wellness benefits of the creative process. Sarah is a member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) and has chosen to maintain her focus on art for wellness rather than merging with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). She facilitates art workshops at Sweet Spot Family Counselling and offers private sessions for individuals seeking a creative outlet for wellness. Her serv

In this episode, we dive deep into the role of art as a therapeutic tool. Key questions we'll explore include: How can art therapy support individuals in their recovery journey? Do you need to be artistically talented to benefit from art therapy? What are some practical ways to incorporate art therapy techniques at home? These discussions will highlight keywords such as "art therapy," "addiction recovery," and "creative healing."

Listeners will gain insight into several key concepts, including the importance of open-mindedness in art therapy, how art therapy can complement other forms of therapy like mindfulness and physical exercise, and the cognitive and emotional benefits of engaging in creative processes. We'll also discuss practical art therapy exercises like art journaling, and how to identify and interpret personal symbols in your artwork.

 Our guest, Sarah, shares her compelling personal story about her journey with art therapy. You'll hear about a transformative moment in her own art therapy experience, where she discovered hidden themes in her work that led to profound personal insights. This segment underscores the deep emotional connections that art can reveal and how it can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and healing.

This is Sisters in Sobriety, the support community that helps women change their relationship with alcohol. Check out our Substack for extra tips, tricks, and resources.


[00:00:00] - Sonia introduces the self-paced seven-day reset program designed to help reset your relationship with alcohol.

[00:01:34] - Kathleen shares her initial hesitation about art therapy due to perceived lack of artistic talent.

[00:01:55] - Sarah explains that no artistic talent is needed; an open mind is what counts in art therapy.

[00:02:19] - Sarah describes starting with collage and art journaling for those who feel intimidated by drawing.

[00:02:56] - Sarah recounts her personal story about discovering a recurring heart theme in her artwork during art therapy school.

[00:04:00] - Sarah reflects on how she realized she wasn't paying attention to her own needs, leading to an emotional breakthrough.

[00:05:02] - Discussion about the importance of a non-judgmental, supportive environment in art therapy.

[00:06:06] - Sarah emphasizes that there is no judgment in art therapy and encourages self-expression without self-criticism.

[00:07:13] - Sarah explains the benefits of focusing on the process and feelings rather than the final product in art therapy.

[00:09:16] - Kathleen suggests using art therapy techniques in couples therapy and mindfulness practices.

[00:10:00] - Sarah talks about the art therapist's role in helping clients interpret and understand their artwork.

[00:11:00] - Sarah shares a story about a boy who stopped speaking and how art therapy helped uncover and address his trauma.

[00:12:33] - Kathleen recalls her childhood trauma and how it influenced her drawings, highlighting the subconscious power of art.

[00:14:00] - Sarah discusses the use of repetitive and grounding activities, like mandala drawing, to manage overwhelming emotions.

[00:15:22] - Sarah identifies common challenges clients face when starting art therapy, such as apprehension about their artistic skills.
[00:16:56] - Sarah shares her experience working with dementia patients and how art therapy helps them express themselves.
[00:18:46] - Sonia and Sarah discuss the cognitive and emotional benefits of art therapy, such as improved mood and emotional expression.
[00:20:31] - Sarah provides practical advice for starting an art journal at home, emphasizing the importance of just starting and letting the process unfold.
[00:25:00] - Kathleen and Sarah talk about the holistic benefits of art therapy in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities, emphasizing the mind-body-soul connection.


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