Art therapy has recently been adopted with growing frequency into recovery programs. This therapy is the use of therapeutic art treatments to help people overcome different illnesses, traumas, and life challenges.

There is a wide variety of activities under art therapy, which include painting, digital art, photography, scrapbooking, and coloring. The therapy can be free form and abstract or it can have a target goal for its use. Abstract art is best for expressing your feelings and your thoughts while pointed art helps answer pointed questions.

The use of this therapy in drug and alcohol addiction centers has been a great step towards helping patients indulge in different hobbies and express themselves better. Visit this site if you’re looking for a drug and alcohol rehab providing this type of therapy. If you are thinking of whether or not to use this therapy for yourself or your patients, here are some advantages to consider

1. Improved communication

Source: americanaddictioncenters.org

When you are new to rehab and everyone you see is a stranger, it can be intimidating to open up about yourself and your needs. The method is a great way of connecting the staff with the patients and the patients with one another. This will help in easing the tension, as art makes one calmer.

When doing a form of group therapy or other group activities, the use of art therapy can be a great way to start a discussion in the group. For individual therapy sessions, the use of this therapy can help to explore deeper emotions by discussing an assignment. This opens a pathway to explaining emotions and perspectives.

2. It helps you work through big and difficult emotions

As trust is built with the therapist and other staff in charge of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, there is an ability to work through different traumatic and hard experiences that had previously been undealt with. With a new sense of worth and progressive improvement, patients may attain personal breakthroughs. This speeds up the recovery process even more, as there is hope for change in the patient.

One of the positives of this treatment is that you do not need a background in the arts to benefit from the program. Instead, you can use any form of the different arts for your creative expressions and let the emotions out of your system. The variety of methods to use also help to make the use of the therapy more successful.

3. It provides space for introspection

Source: americanaddictioncenters.org

When an addict is going through life, what they view as reality might be warped by their addiction. This is also true of their self-image and the circumstances surrounding them. With art, there is a need to be present and in the moment. Artwork taps into the subconscious mind more easily and allows hidden thoughts and emotions to come to the surface.

In such moments, the patient may see how faulted their view had been and how to return to a healthier state of mind. The imagination stirred up by art therapy may also help with exploring the world view of an individual, allowing deep-seated emotions and new perspectives to come to light. Having new perspectives and a more developed sense of self may also aid in increasing the threshold for self-control, as well as with their problem-solving skills.

4. It improves confidence levels

One of the reasons people are plunged into addiction is the lack of self-esteem that forces them to supplement it by looking for more ways to fit in or be confident. Excelling at building little things and completing tasks builds up confidence and helps individuals feel better about themselves. The sense of accomplishment paired up with a connection to the inner child is a great way to be happier and focus on the good in one instead of the inadequacies.

This treatment also allows patients at drug and alcohol rehab centers to express their emotions more articulately as they explain their creative process to their peers and therapists, which allows others to better understand what they are feeling and connect more intimately with them. This increased emotional intelligence will also positively affect their confidence levels.

5. It provides healing and self-knowledge

Source: positivepsychology.com

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) often incorporates the use of affirmation to change neural pathways as patients retell their personal stories to themselves. This can be done by writing out little cards with the affirmations that the patient needs to hear more of. Through affirmations, negative emotions are adjusted to positive ones over time.

There is also the benefit of discovering hidden talents and preferences that had not been explored before through the therapy. This can be a love for artwork or a love for sharing and supporting other people. There is a catharsis in expressing emotions through art. The patient can let out difficult emotions in a safe and controlled environment. After several sessions, the patient will find that a lot of the emotional baggage that previously existed has been lifted off of them.

6. It makes it easier to stay committed to recovery

Though this therapy often begins at a drug and alcohol rehab center, it is an invaluable tool for the lifelong process of recovery. Whenever there is a temptation to use drugs or alcohol again, the patient can easily reach for artwork instead by doing things such as mandala drawings, coloring books, or something as simple as doodling on sticky notes.

It is also easier to be disciplined and manage self and time while working with focus with the help of art projects to occupy the mind of the patient. Artwork provides a positive distraction for the patient that may aid in keeping them away from whatever previously acted as a trigger for addiction or relapse.

Art therapy is a great addition to the twelve-step model for healing from addiction. Studies have shown that it is especially great when used with women and adolescents, as they are more responsive, but the margin difference with men is very minimal.

It is a great tool to consider adding to your recovery itinerary. Whether or not you consider yourself a creative, it can always be beneficial because we all have a little creativity in us waiting to be expressed.