Friday, November 9, 2012


I have been leading creative arts projects at 12 step meetings since 2009.  This is a service position at one of the meetings I attend.  So I have not been the creative arts project person for that entire time, but I have picked up the position repeatedly, as I am very inspired and passionate about being of service in this way.

In the process of coming up with creative arts project ideas, I have done a lot of searching on the internet and was surprised by how little guidance there was out there. So I decided to create this blog to help others who may want to include a creative arts project week at their meetings.  Our meeting started out with one week per month dedicated to a creative arts project.  Other weeks were speaker meetings or readings. But the creative arts projects were such a huge hit that we expanded their frequency - at first to twice a month and now every other week.  I will say, the one drawback is the art supplies for some of the projects I have led can be expensive. Having this creative art project activity, however, has definitely made our 7th Tradition collection more abundant and able to cover the costs of these projects.  In addition, there are an abundance of projects that require nothing more than a piece of paper and a pen.

I am currently the creative arts project person.  So my plan is to post the projects, every other week, as I present them to my group.  But I will also add past projects in between the upcoming ones, in the hopes they might inspire you as well.  Although these projects are done by a group, you can also try many of these projects on your own.

The workbook began as an 8-page handout I called "The Art of My Recovery" that I provided to everyone in attendance at a meeting I spoke at.  Like this blog, it provided ideas for ways to incorporate creativity into working the 12 steps.

This blog, the workbook and these projects are NOT aimed at artists.  In fact, if you are an artist, I ask you to let go of any expectations you may normally place upon yourself when identifying with the label artist.  Before beginning this journey, I encourage you to imagine a preschool room of children.  Imagine every child has a crayon in their hands.  This is the part of ourselves, our “inner child” as referred to in many therapeutic settings, who is going to be participating in the following activities.

There are an abundance of forms of creative expression: cooking, dancing, drama, drawing, gardening, singing, playing instruments, poetry, storytelling, spoken work, painting, collage, sewing, knitting, flower arranging, film making, crafts, writing, photography, cake decorating, role playing, rapping, fashion design, and so much more.  You may find ways to incorporate any of these into your program. I encourage people to explore whatever form of creativity that brings you closer to your Higher Power.  I also welcome suggestions from our readers.  You may contact us through the use of comments or by emailing Creative12Steps [at] gmail [dot] com.

NOTE:  This blog is intended for anyone who seeks to make improvements in their lives through any 12-step program of recovery.  This is meant to provide supplemental resources to those who are attending 12-step meetings and working the 12-steps along with a sponsor.  If you are suffering from any form of addiction, I encourage you to reach out and find a local or on-line meeting to attend.  There are programs for many different addictions, but whatever your addiction you should be able to find an open meeting for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in your area.  These open meetings welcome everyone suffering from any form of addiction.  The key to recovery is getting out of isolation.  I also highly recommend AA's twelve and twelve - The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.  Even if you are not an alcoholic, you can substitute the word alcohol for your addiction throughout this text and the same information applies.  Again, this blog and our workbook are meant to compliment these primary tools, not stand as a substitute for them.

Similarly, I am not a therapist.  I am simply another addict on my own journey of recovery.  Neither this blog nor the workbook should be used as a substitute for professional counseling with a psychologist.


  1. I am an Addictions and Community Service Worker in Ottawa, Ont. And I have read through this, and this is absolutely wonderfully amazing!! I love all the ideas in here. I work with the GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bi-sexual and Transgender) community who have substance addictions. And I'm noticed that the GLBT commiunty are very very creative, but don't know how to quite use it to their advantage. I hope you don't mind, but I would love to use all of these fabulous ideas with my clients. Thank you so much. You have an amazing thing going here. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Amy. I'm delighted to hear you'll be using these projects with your clients. If this blog helps even one person in recovering from their addiction, that makes it all worthwhile to me.

  2. Thank you very much for your inspiring blog. I was in art theraphy seminar and our assignment was to look for some internet pages about art theraphy and I came across this one here and it is wonderful. I can use it in my project in school to get 5 masters units and also in my aa meetings perhaps ;) I am a alcholic in recovery. I had a awakening throught prayer but I am in the steps now so I can help other alcholics through them and this is a wonderful idea to use... so thank you so much...:D