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How Art Therapy Is Used in Addiction Treatment

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After someone decides to get help for their addiction, they have a few options for treatment. Most addiction clinics offer their patients several different types of therapy: individual, group, skills-focused, relapse-prevention. You might also find some less traditional, more innovative therapies, like art therapy.

Types of Art Therapy

Art therapy has been used for a long, long time, but is gaining new attention as it is used in a variety of treatment settings. It’s an important tool; it gives addicts a chance to use their creativity and imagination to express themselves in healthy, productive ways. The goal is for the patient to expand their forms of communication; that way, they can better convey their experiences. Art therapy is an umbrella term, which includes several versions:

  • painting
  • sculpting
  • dancing
  • drawing
  • acting
  • music
  • poetry

Art therapy helps people express thoughts and feelings that they cannot express with words. It’s especially helpful for those with a history of abuse, who have trouble talking about their experiences. There are several methods for achieving this. The patient may be asked to explain their art, or to work together with the therapist, conversing important emotional matters as they go. Either way, the goal is discussion—discussion with as little anxiety as possible for the patient.

When you’re doing some form of art, you’re opening your creative mind, and that’s the best time to be in the presence of a helping energy, to learn important coping skills. In a group setting, it’s even better. Many people find it easier to express themselves through art, because it doesn’t feel as revealing as divulging information outright. It’s not a replacement for traditional therapy, but it helps ease people into more intensive introspection. Most people are passionate about art in some form or another. Those who have entered treatment against their own desires are often relieved to learn that such a therapy exists; they assumed rehab to be a chore, but rehab shouldn’t feel that way.

More Information about Art Therapy and Addiction Treatment

Working through the experiences, emotions, and issues that have led to and worsened addiction can feel like a lot to handle. Art therapy offers us a safe place to communicate ideas and feelings in a personalized, non-standard way–a refreshing change for many people.

Design For Change employs a wide variety of treatment options to help each client find a source of therapy which helps them heal. Changing lives one step at a time, our residential treatment programs for men and women provide the hope and freedom promised in recovery. For information, call us today, at: (877) 267-3646

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