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Is Art Therapy Worth Trying in Recovery?

Is Art Therapy Worth Trying in Recovery?

When a person decides to get professional help for addiction, there are several options for what kind of treatment the person might want. Many addiction treatment centers offer different types of therapies, including alternative creative ones. These forms of therapy are often used in combination to provide the person with multiple venues of expression and healing.

Types of Art Therapy

In art therapy, a person uses his creativity and imagination to make art that expresses himself in a healthy and productive way. The goal of art therapy is for the person to expand his forms of communication to better convey his experience. The kinds of art used in therapy may include:

  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Painting
  • Dancing
  • Drawing
  • Acting
  • Music
  • Poetry

The art therapy and expressive arts therapy realm helps people express their thoughts and feelings that they may not be able to say with words. This therapy is helpful for people who have underlying issues related to addiction, as well. Creating art is nonverbal, and often expands the ways a person can convey emotions and express feelings without words.

Methods of Therapy

In art therapy, there are various ways to help a person develop insight and meaning into their personal journeys. These include:

  • Gestalt methods: help the person work out his current feelings and experiences including a way to develop deeper conversation or as a tool to explain thoughts and feelings.
  • Active imagination: using artwork as a starting point and letting the person’s mind roam free to associations and introspection
  • “Third-hand” approach: incorporates help from the therapist. This person is in control of the vision but the therapist assists with producing the art.

Art therapy can be helpful because it provides pathways of understanding addiction recovery along with coping mechanisms. When a person can explore their recovery in this way, it can bring new depths of understanding and build bridges of healing to recovery.

Wherever you are in recovery, there may be an opportunity to join a place that uses art or creative expression to help you cope with the experience. It is one tool of many that can be used to help you express the challenges of addiction recovery. If you are struggling, call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401