Friday, May 21, 2021

Addiction and Mental Health Pictured

 Directions: This group therapy activity features a series of pictures that depict various artists thoughts and feelings about mental health and substance use related topics. As a group, review each picture and discuss group members thoughts and feelings about each picture. The counselor/group leader should be prepared to let anyone express if they feel triggered by any of these pictures to work through their feelings if that occurs. However, as a precaution, graphic pictures were avoided for this exercise for that very reason. Also, many of the pictures are "dark" however the last two are more hopeful and recovery-focused, to end on a positive note which is the ultimate goal. Further, if there is time, the activity at the end is about using our feelings discussed in this activity about some of the struggles associated with addiction and mental health to motivate us toward self-improvement, empowerment, hope, positive future goals and recovery.


Some suggested discussion questions for these pictures (optional) –

What do you think that the artist was trying to show in this picture? Is there a message that comes across to you?


Do you have a personal reaction to this picture? What thoughts come to mind? What feelings does it bring out?

Review each picture as a group and discuss

When the group is done reviewing the picture, it is important to end on a positive note. The goal of this exercise is to discuss thoughts and feelings and mental health and addiction; however, it is best to end the session focused on positive motivation going forward. Therefore, to end this session discuss the following question:


How can you use the thoughts and feelings that we discussed today related to these pictures, to stay motivated for positive change, and make positive progress in your recovery?



Closing Discussion and Art Exercise - Hope and Recovery

Discuss: In your life, what motivates and inspires you today?

Draw and Share (If time) – Pick a positive topic word or phrase as an artwork theme and everyone in the group should take some time make a drawing based on that theme. Share and discuss your work (Focus on meaning, not quality or artistic ability as this exercise should not be an art contest but rather about self-expression regardless of skill

Suggested topics: “Inspiration and Motivation”, “Recovery”, “Illumination”, “Awakening”, “Renewal”, “Resurgence”, “perseverance”


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