Before Karen Corcoran Walsh was a lightning rod in the teen recovery profession as the owner of Inspirations for Youth and Families – the premier teen addiction treatment center – she was a school teacher. Karen is living proof that you can’t take the school teacher out of the addiction professional.
Recently, Karen dusted off one of her famed collaborative projects she used during her teaching days and tried it out for her teens at the treatment center. The art therapy project involved having her teens create signs with messages that are helpful in recovery. The sign project was highly appropriate for her teens suffering from substance abuse disorders and mental health issues. By encouraging teens to participate and teaching them to think positively, they were helping themselves in their recovery. Also, they were having fun and feeling good about themselves at the same time.
How Teen Sign Art Therapy Works?
“Basically we started by providing a prop for the teens. And in this case the prop was to have them create signs with impactful messages to assist in their recovery,” said Leo Balsero, Inspirations for Youth and Families Group Therapist, who oversaw the teen’ boys participation in the project. “The premise of this activity was to create a slogan about their sobriety. Namely something that was unique to them. Like a personal message.”
According to Tali Rossman, primary therapist for Inspirations’ teen girls: “We decided to do this project for the purpose of providing our girls with hope, ambition and motivation. And we want our teen girls to look at these signs on a daily basis to reflect on ways they can enhance their lives and know that their journey to recovery can actually be enjoyable and fun.”
The Teen Art Therapy Affirmations included the following sayings:
- Everything is going to be okay. Just don’t use today
- Stay positive!
- It’s not over. Be Sober!
- Di no a las drugas (Say no to drugs).
- Keep moving forward
- There’s no progress without struggle
- Turn I wish into I will
- Your struggle is part of our story
We plan to continue having the teens create signs with powerful messages about their recovery. So stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe to our Inspirations blog to get notified.