Understanding Art Therapy
Art therapy is a fusion of psychotherapeutic techniques paired with creative expression. There are various types of art – ceramics, painting, sculpture, and even music and dance. Therefore, what exactly is “art therapy?” Simply put, art therapy is a relatively vague term that encompasses numerous styles of art. Many recovering addicts choose their favorite craft or pick from the offerings made available by their substance abuse treatment program. A recovering addict in an art therapy program may create:
- Floral decorations
- Sand art
- Graphic design
Art therapy requires no prior experience! A trained professional typically spearheads the sessions. Most individuals participate in group art therapy, but there are also one-on-one options. The environment is laidback, enabling you to express creativity and ease your mind. Beginners are welcome.
As you can see, you don’t just put in earphones and paint a picture in art therapy – there’s a lot more to it. You can vocalize your feeling in an art therapy program and incorporate them into your artwork. A licensed therapist will touch base with you each session, enabling you to openly discuss your feelings and progress in your recovery journey.
Perhaps one of the best parts of art therapy is that you get to keep every masterpiece you create! Your artwork serves as a reminder of your persistence and dedication to sobriety. You’ll also find that your pieces make for great decoration once you return to your personal residence.
Art Therapy’s Benefits
Many addicts tend to lose parts of their identity after heavily using drugs and alcohol. Nevertheless, individuals can rediscover themselves through therapy and a robust support system. Art therapy does just that – it enables participants to identify the root causes of their addictions and develop healthy coping mechanisms for the future. Art therapy not only helps to heal the wounds suffered during addiction, but it’s also a tool for lifelong recovery. Instead of turning to drugs and alcohol, recovering addicts can use healthy outlets to express their emotions and maintain sobriety. Many individuals gain a lifelong appreciation for art (even if they had no prior artistic experience before art therapy).
Regardless of your artistic abilities, art therapy has numerous benefits. When you participate in an art therapy program, you will:
- Discover emotions: Understand your emotions from a new perspective and develop healthy ways to express them.
- Boost confidence: Creating art that you can call your “own” helps you realize your self-worth.
- Reduce stress: Focus on creating a masterpiece – not the negative feelings that trigger anxiety.
- Build strength: Your artistic progression enables you to uncover your capabilities and become resilient to your old ways.
- Express creativity: Use art as a coping mechanism and outlet to relieve daily stressors that give you the urge to reuse drugs and alcohol.
How Art Therapy Aids Recovery
Art therapy gives you the freedom to express your true self healthily and ingeniously. It also enhances your concentration and communication and eases feelings of loneliness and isolation. You have the independence to determine the outcome (just like in everyday life). Although instructors guide you as needed, art therapy is an individualistic effort. Individuals can discuss their ongoing issues with the therapist, whether they’re kneading clay or cross-hatching a sketch. However, therapists still play an active role in each session by discussing participants’ current emotions, progress, and artistic techniques. Art therapy is fluid – no two sessions are the same. You’ll continue to evolve on your creative journey as you convey emotions passionately and acquire tools that fuel your long-term success.
Art Therapy in a Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Although art therapy is highly effective, it’s merely one element of a full-scale substance abuse treatment program. Many recovering addicts participate in various therapies, including equine, music, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Our licensed counselors and therapists conduct evidence-based therapy at our various luxurious facilities in South Florida. Everyone has different needs when it comes to addiction recovery, and that’s why we work one-on-one with each guest to develop a personalized treatment plan. For example, clients may participate in cognitive behavioral therapy in the morning (CBT), art therapy sessions during the afternoon, and a 12-step program at night.