74. Art Therapy and Addiction with Samantha Davis


Tribe Sober – inspiring an alcohol-free life!

This week’s podcast guest is an Art Therapist.  Just as I never realised how important yoga could be in recovery, so too did I have no idea that Art Therapy had a role to play.

I interviewed Tribe Sober’s yoga teacher, Tamsin, on episode 69 and today I’m chatting to Art Therapist, Samantha Davis.

Sami has operated a private Art Therapy practice for the past 18 years. She’s worked with people who struggle with stress, addiction, depression and also people wanting to discover more meaning and purpose in their lives.


In this Episode

  • Sami began by defining Art Therapy which involves “using art materials to help a client to communicate and express themselves with the guidance of a qualified therapist”.
  • We discussed how as adults many of us have lost the ability to play – we tend to get caught up in productivity and ticking boxes. We need to get back in touch with our creativity and art therapy can help us to do that.
  • Some people feel intimidated at the thought of Art Therapy, thinking that they need some artistic skill. This is not true at all and, in fact, Sami loves clients who come to her with no knowledge or aptitude for “art” – Art Therapy is, in fact, a way of getting in touch with our creativity and playfulness.
  • Art therapy can play an important role in our recovery – it can help us to reconnect with ourselves and better understand who we really are. It can help us to decrease our reliance on alcohol and build new and different pathways and coping mechanisms.
  • As drinkers, some of us spent years numbing our feelings. Art therapy will help us to get back in touch with our feelings – and to express ourselves creatively.
  • Sami sees the Art as the Bridge between what is inside and what is outside – it’s simply a way to express ourselves.
  • We discussed the fragility of early sobriety where Art Therapy can play the role of holding a safe space where we can “check in”. We talked about the power of vulnerability and how art therapy allows us to express our vulnerability.
  • Sam explained the concept behind the vision board sessions which help us to reconnect with our passions using images, art materials, e.t.c. I’ve done one of these sessions and can really recommend it – a vision board allows us to express ourselves and then the power of manifestation will come into play. Our subconscious will register our vision and help it to become a reality.
  • The vision board workshop is particularly useful for people in sobriety as it helps them to get back in touch with what they really enjoy doing. We have extra time on our hands when we stop drinking so we need to find constructive ways to use that time.  Sami is quite happy to run a group vision board session for people in recovery so do get in touch with myself or Sami if you are interested.
  • Sami explained that addictions mean that we are always busy focusing on our next fix which prevents us from being in the moment. Art Therapy can help with mindfulness and mental health generally – focusing on a creative project will enable us to get “in the flow”  which can give our minds a welcome break from stress and anxiety.
  • Art therapy can help us to build resilience and help us to recognize our triggers – all of which will help to prevent relapse.
  • We often say that “connection is the opposite of addiction” here at Tribe Sober and we are referring to community. Sam helped me to realise that we also need to connect with ourselves – to get to know who we really are.
  • Understanding ourselves better means that we can find new ways of coping – instead of using alcohol.
  • At Tribe Sober we love learning about neuroscience, happy brain chemicals and our Lizard Brains – our gurus have been neuroscientist, Staci Danfield, who you can hear on episode 67 of this podcast and author of the Happy Brain, Loretta Breuning, who is on episode 55.
  • Sami explained that Art Therapy will also trigger our happy brain chemicals and will give us a boost in early sobriety when we can be plagued with a low mood. Loretta Breuning explained to us that we need a project in early sobriety to stay happy and focused.
  • That’s why we have designed our 7 step program – to give you a project – the project of self discovery, so sign up for our Art Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Coaching and Root Cause Therapy. Just throw the book at it!
  • Sami and I both run our workshops on Zoom these days and agreed that they work really well and we enjoy opening them up to people all over the world.
  • Sami works with individuals and with groups. Sometimes an individual will need personal attention for their growth, healing or recovery.
  • However the group sessions can be special – she believes that groups come together for a reason – they bring their life experience and of course a key part of the workshop is about sharing our stories. Jung calls this the “collective unconscious” – the people who need to be together come together.  I loved that and it made me think of our workshops and the synergy and bonding that I’ve witnessed during the 6 years of running workshops.
  • For more info about Sami and her courses just go to her website which is https://www.arttherapy.co.za/about-samantha-davis/

More info

  • Subscription membership for Tribe Sober – you can join up HERE
  • To access our website click HERE
  • If you would like a free copy of our “Annual Tracker” or our e-book “66 Days to Sobriety” please email janet@nulltribesober.com
  • If you would like to come to our Saturday afternoon Zoom Cafe as a guest and meet our community just email janet@nulltribesober.com

Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by the Tribe Sober Membership Program.  If you want to change your relationship with alcohol then sign up today
Read more about our program and subscribe HERE.

Book a Discovery Call with me to find out if our membership would help you .


Help us to spread the word!

We made this podcast so that we can reach more people who need our help.  Please subscribe and share.

If you enjoyed the podcast then please leave us a 5 star review on Apple podcasts, take a screenshot of your review and DM it to Tribe Sober’s Instagram page – see PS for instructions – we’ll send you something special to say thank you!

We release a podcast episode every Saturday morning.

You can follow Tribe Sober on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

You can catch our FB live on Saturday mornings (11am SAST) and you can join our private Facebook group HERE

Thank you for listening!

Till Next Week

Janet x

PS   How to leave a rating/review in Apple Podcasts (on an iOS device)

1. Open the Podcasts app. EASY.

2. Choose “Search” from the bottom row of icons and enter the name of the show (i.e., “Recover Like A Mother”) into the search field.

3. Select the show under Shows (not under Episodes).

4. Scroll down past the first few episodes until you see Ratings & Reviews.

5. Click “Write a Review” underneath the displayed reviews from other listeners. You’ll then have the option to rate the show on a 5-star scale, and write a review (you can rate without writing, too but it’s always good to read your experience).


The 11 Year Fact

Did you know that the average dependent drinker will struggle alone for 11 years before reaching out for help?

Don’t wait for 11 years – join Tribe Sober today!