The purpose of this study is to bring awareness to the need for creative holistic approaches to interventions and treatments for depression and substance abuse. The literature review section covers the topics of depression, substance abuse, the effects of low self-esteem in these disorders, and how art therapy is suited to address these topics. The research methodology utilized is historical case studies. In support of this topic, case studies gained from literature in the field will be analyzed. Case studies were obtained by thoroughly researching numerous databases to find the most relevant information that demonstrates how art therapy can be utilized with this population to enhance self-esteem and healthy coping skills. Art therapy that was utilized within the framework of Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change is presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of using art therapy in conjunction with an alternative approach to substance abuse. Specifically, this paper seeks to answer the question of how can art therapy interventions that are designed to improve self-esteem and coping skills help an adult with Depression and Substance Abuse?


Depression, Substance Abuse, Self Esteem, Motivational Interviewing, Stages of Change, Art Therapy

Document Type


Year of Completion



Art Therapy


Cristina Lomangino, ATR-BC, LCAT

Academic Department

Art Therapy Department