Art therapy is a part of the alternative therapies used in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. There are hundreds if not thousands of activities and different ways art therapy can be used for addiction treatment. Each art therapy project focuses on a specific theme or purpose for developing a different perspective as well as accessing emotions in new ways.
Communicating Through Image Not Words
The focus on art therapy is to create visual representations of emotions, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities, and opinions without words. During art therapy, a therapist will use their words to instruct patients on the art therapy project, then offer words of affirmation and encouragement while patients are creating. For the patients, there is silence- often a blessed retreat from the regular talk therapy group processing taking place throughout the day. Getting in touch with their innermost selves without having to use word-based thinking or expressing often reveals more than the words themselves would. Often, patients aren’t able to express what their art is, what they were thinking, or why they created what they did. The art therapist’s role is to apply words and insights, as non-intrusively as possible. What the art therapist sees in the art is eye opening to the patients and helps them realize more about themselves because the art therapist is able to identify more subtleties about the patients.
Using Art Therapy Across Treatment
A treatment team works together to share information about what they observe in a client during their different treatment methods. The information gained by an art therapist can be truly instrumental for other members of a client’s treatment team who don’t get to connect in the way art therapy creates. patients are also able to take their art therapy projects to their personal therapists or other treatment practitioners to discuss their discoveries in other ways and expand their insight.
Art Therapy Goes Home
Recovery planning and discharge planning help a client create a comprehensive and actionable plan for maintaining their recovery program after treatment. Regularly seeing a therapist can be part of that plan. Incorporating art therapy often becomes something patients value in their recovery. Whether they work with an art therapist, take art classes, or practice their own art therapy at home, they integrate art therapy as part of self-care to sustain their recovery.
Patients are worthy of live, time, and devotion when they go to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Free from addiction, they are able to live their lives independently, rooted in a spiritual path of service and helping others. The treatment programs at Design For Change offer unparalleled peace of mind through wellness solutions which take a holistic approach to care. For information, call us today at (877) 267-3646. There is hope in recovery.