Linda LindbergA brief intervention for substance abuse in the emergency department: Could a brief solution focused art therapy Intervention be an innovative new way to build insight that motivates change?

My interest in art started in high school when I was mentored by my German Art teacher, in the production of a contemporary art piece from wood. Over the years I have had the opportunity to utilise different mediums, including fabric and leather.  I love to experiment and create Art from new and exciting mediums. My favourite art is Contemporary Art, because it gives me room to create anything that is only limited to my imagination, and it gives me the freedom to utilise all sorts of mediums. My favourite colours are earthy reds and metallics as well as ocean pigments and metal patinas.

For this project I utilised research and data which I sourced through a wide range of studies, including government, editorials, peer reviewed literature, case reports, cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies, randomised Controlled Trials and systematic reviews as well as grey literature and anecdotal depictions. My research has helped me to identify gaps in relation to the “standard” Brief intervention for drugs and alcohol that focuses on motivational interviewing as compared to approaches that are solution focused and include art therapy as a patient centred therapy.

My artwork depicts the journey of a patient that presents to the emergency department with substance abuse and how they can develop insight via solution focused Art Therapy.  Solution Focused Art Therapy fits the time constructs of a “brief Intervention” but it has the added benefits of a multi-sensory engagement that can assist the individual in visualising change via new interpretations in their behaviour through their art.  The project artwork utilises different mediums including, wire, epoxy resin, ocean, metallic and rust patinas, stainless steel and copper.  The twined metal links the coldness and isolation of addiction and its tight grip.   The red patinas represent the patient’s struggle leading into a calmness and serenity of ocean blue and green as they build insight and understanding that leads to change.

Rock bottom
Rock Bottom
Canvas board, charcoal, graphite pencil, epoxy resin, grey tint - Border: plaster wrap, copper, blue and pink powered tint, pouring solution.
40.6 x 50.8     
Rock bottom, wrapped in pain, tormented, unable to walk away, torn, alone, trying to see through, tired, scared about their future, held prisoner, dull grey existence, frightened about change, addicted.


Young and invincible
Young and Invincible
Metal sheet – scratched, black blue and red wax crayon
30 x 21cm   
Unbeatable, little ambition, young, insightless from the start, following the trend, fitting in and blend, don’t be seen as weak, let them think your fearless and strong when the drink is carrying you along, emotionless, steel



Endless battle
Endless Battle
Water colour pencils
30 x 21cm   
Passing years, unable to let go, the grip is tight, impossible to see the light, the body is hurting but still can’t let go, take another shot to forget now….will  try again another way another day, when things aren’t so low.


Board, flow paint and gold acrylic paint
30.55cm x 30.5cm 
Neurons are different, the ion channels are changing, alcohol gripping tightly to the GABA, dependence has its hold and withdrawal is waiting.


Woven Insight
Woven Insight
Copper & Metal sheet, vinegar, salt and alcohol ink
30cm x 21cm 
Embodied understanding is forging forward, support is woven into the art of insight leaving the excitation of the electrons to light the way.


Gravitate to freedom
Gravitate to Freedom
Copper sheet, vinegar, salt and alcohol ink, white crayon
30cm x 21cm  
At peace to view the beauty that the world can offer, a new beginning, breathe the fresh air, embrace the freedom, feel the peace, YOU are in control