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SOAR

EDP drug and alcohol services project using arts-based mindfulness to identify inner strengths.

Name of organisation:
EDP - drug and alcohol services

Title of project/programme:
SOAR

Dates of project/programme:
Spring 2014

Summary
SOAR is a therapeutic approach that combines several psychological approaches within one arts-based mindful process. The early stages of SOAR centred on working with EDP clients to better understand what it was that participants drew from engaging with the SOAR process. Clients reported that they really enjoyed getting lost in the creative process, gathering this understanding meant that we would rethink the value of the process to that of creative absorption, linking absorption to mindfulness. Rather than talk of art and creativity, we moved to talking about an arts-based mindfulness process. This was an important realisation in terms of what we were offering to our clients for it is the process of losing oneself in creativity that better connects the client to their inner resources.

An important focus of the SOAR approach is strengths-based coaching, supporting clients to identify and celebrate the inner qualities (strengths) that give them the wherewithal to make positive choices in their lives. We wanted to move beyond hope, towards self-efficacy, where each person genuinely believes that they can create their best possible future.

This inner belief is brought to life through a process in which clients are supported to identify their personal strengths and once listed illustrate them through colour and texture. The cognitive process of identifying personal qualities (strengths) is married to the creative process of imagining what those strengths might look like (imagery). The creative manifestation of one’s strengths enabled clients to consider just what was available to them in terms of possibility.

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