Efficacy of Art Therapy on Adolescent Substance Abuse
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The transition from childhood to adulthood that takes shape during adolescence is a complicated process that can lead to a myriad of psychological difficulties, often co-occurring with substance use. This research project will explore the utility of art therapy as a preventive and early intervention program to reduce the risk of substance use for adolescents with high mental health or psychosocial needs. Therapeutic intervention with this population often faces the challenge of overcoming the painful feelings of disconnection and alienation in order to create meaningful self-understanding, necessary for a realistic, flexible, and potent sense of selfhood. In this effort, the utility of art therapy as opposed to conventional talk therapy has not been adequately defined and explained in the existing research. Current literature on the psychology of adolescence, substance use, and art therapy will be reviewed to define and develop this problematic. A qualitative research methodology and analysis will be discussed for expounding the grounds, boundaries and elements of this utility. As discussion, the limitation of this methodology and research will be discussed in the light of a range of possible outcomes.