Art Therapy Helps Treatment
By: Design for Change Recovery
Emotions and self-expression take a turn for the worst while an addict is using consistently. Self-control is not an option. Addiction has complete control and the addict will feel lost, alone, and hopeless. Pride, shame, and guilt rule the individual’s thoughts. When treatment begins, music and art are often the first communications an addict will use. Music grounds out personal thoughts and feelings. Art also distracts the client from emotions that are too difficult to handle immediately entering treatment. After detox is over and therapy begins, the addict begins to use music and art as a way to express the emotions in a controlled environment.
A song or sound can trigger a drug or alcohol craving. An addict has had bad habits which could include music or art while using. Realizing the addiction is a problem and seeking help is the first step. The music and art can now be used in a positive way. Instead of allowing the image or sound to trigger an urge, the addict can now use the arts to express themselves. Relaxation, meditation, and focus are practiced when using art as therapy. Each benefit helps the addict in different ways.
In order to have balance in one’s life, the individual needs to have time to relax. When someone doesn’t allow relaxation time, stress and anxiety will take control. A lifestyle full of stress doesn’t allow the proper functioning of the mind and body. Stress is a common trigger for relapse. Allowing music and art into ‘mind space’ gives an individual a sense of peace in a hectic world.
Meditation is seen as a sitting or lying position with gentle music in the background. Common descriptions are often not the best understandings. Meditation is an opportunity to reevaluate personal growth, past sense of self, and pave a way for future endeavors. When meditation is just resting with eyes closed, music can allow the mind to imagine different possibilities. Creativity with art gives thoughts a break or direct focus and expression. The goal for an addict can be one or the other. The self-awareness is up to the individual. Knowing what is needed is key. For example, when someone needs to solve a problem or express an emotion that is not understood, art and music can help focus on the issue.
The ability to have mental focus is distracted when using drugs and alcohol. Regaining the skill can be daunting. Finding ways to cope with racing thoughts will able the addict to work on focus. Art and music build creative thinking. Using the arts as a coping skill, to distract from a problem momentarily, or to help focus on a problem, will build the skill. Feelings of pride will also come back to the addict. Having pride in something the individual created, and acknowledging one’s skills, boosts self-esteem.
Addiction can feel lonely and out of control. Therapists and group from Design for Change will treat you with respect and comfort. Success in recovery starts by making the change. (877)267-3646