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How Can Art Help in Addiction Recovery? Gateway Rehab

These coloring books encourage adults to focus on the present moment, using it as a means to detach from unpleasant thoughts. Despite the connection between coloring and stress reduction, experts do not consider it art therapy. Art therapy is not restricted to any age group, and works well for children, teenagers, adults, couples, families, and single individuals. Art therapy can occur in hospitals, schools, wellness centers or physical rehabilitation centers, substance abuse rehabilitation centers, and correctional facilities. Art therapy sessions with a trained art therapist in your community, whether solo or in a group setting, can be a valuable way to reflect on your SUD, its causes, and your recovery. When a trained individual is there to facilitate the project and the creative process and guide you as you explore what you’ve created, you can once again begin making connections between your emotions, your inner self, and your experiences.

Art therapy can have a beneficial, transformative effect on people seeking help for addiction. At Desert Cove Recovery, we take a holistic approach to addiction treatment by emphasizing the mind, body, and spirit, which includes exploring thoughts and emotions through artistic expression. Art therapy and other complementary and alternative therapies are integrated into our outpatient treatment programs for holistic healing. Overall, 36.8% of programs used art therapy and 14.7% used music therapy, with 11.7% using both (not shown).

Addiction Treatment Programs

Just like art therapy, it is thought to help patients tap into emotions and needs that may be difficult to express through more traditional forms of communication. Furthermore, music therapy also provides a way to motivate patients to receive treatment. In these treatments, patients go beyond simply listening to music to engage emotions, motivations, and barriers to recovery through lyrics and melody (American Music Therapy Association, 2014).

  • Art therapists use psychotherapy skills in their sessions, allowing patients to learn about themselves and understand areas of growth.
  • Additionally, other evidence shows that learning techniques for mood and emotion regulation can be beneficial for treating SUDs because they can reduce cravings.
  • This process can be excruciating, which feeds into pessimism and can cause difficulty managing triggers.
  • Using art can be an effective tool in helping you communicate your feelings without words.
  • It can also help your mental health professional better understand you and help you navigate toward a brighter future.

In recovery, this translates into realizing that overcoming addiction involves taking small steps. Art therapy is a type of experiential therapy (Therapy based on doing or participating in certain activities) that utilizes the creative process art therapy for addiction and a variety of mediums (painting, drawing, sculpting, and more) to help clients heal. This approach to therapy is always completed with the assistance of a licensed art therapist, who guides the client through specific activities.

What is Residential Mental Health Treatment?

While art therapy is most often used in treatment programs tailored to women, this therapeutic approach is appropriate for any age or gender. When used alongside evidence-based practices, it can help clients explore their feelings, handle stress, depression, and anxiety, and visualize themselves in a successful recovery. This holistic treatment approach also appears in many addiction treatment programs. Alongside evidence-based practices such as motivational interviewing or dialectical behavioral therapy, it provides an alternative way for clients to express their emotions and explore the issues that may be contributing to their addiction.

art therapy ideas for drug addiction

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