Art as a Pathway to Healing

Robyn Thayter
Table of Contents
I didn't know what it meant to live in recovery.


As a child, Robyn seemed like a regular kid growing up in a small town. But with the shadow of addiction in her home, creating art became her "safe space."

When her family member found sobriety for the first time at Hazelden Betty Ford, Robyn participated in the Family Program. At the time, she was just 21 years old—in a room full of adults—but, as she puts it: "I went because I wanted to know what was wrong so I could fix it." 

Well, Robyn discovered that the problem wasn't hers to fix, and she learned the language to talk about what substance use disorder was doing to her family. Hazelden Betty Ford's family services are a lifeline to so many families like Robyn's, providing insights, tools and peer support to heal from the chaos and heartbreak of a loved one's addiction.  

"I didn't know what it meant to live in recovery," she says. "The Family Program at Hazelden Betty Ford cracked the door open for me." 

Throughout her journey, art continues to play a role in her healing. "I learned to channel my feelings and experiences into art-making," she says. "The ability to tell my story in texture and color is healing."

Robyn is now a professional artist. Her art is not only part of her own healing journey, but she sees it as a way to inspire others to find their own path. "Art-making was a gift I was given as a child," says Robyn. "Now I put my art out there in the world so it can nourish others wherever they are in this journey of life." 

Your Support Matters

Your support helps more people like Robyn begin their recovery journey at Hazelden Betty Ford—where we embrace the entire family.

Robyn Thayter

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