Art Therapy

01/24/19: Addiction Recovery \ Alcohol Addiction \ Drug Addiction

Addiction is a serious disease, and just like any disease, it needs proper treatment. There are many different types of treatments for drug addiction. Some treatments may work better for others while it may not work for some. Whatever treatment works best, the end goal is always to ensure a full recovery for a person. Rehabilitation centers provide many different types of therapy for patients, considering the fact that each person will experience each therapy differently.

Each therapy caters to different types of people; they each serve as ways to help addicts develop strong independence from their former substance addiction. Therapy also serves as a way for patients to understand and cope with any strong emotions they have during the recovery process. Going through recovery can be emotionally and physically painful for a person; therapy is a way for a person to fight against this. In this blog post, we will discuss one of the most popular forms of therapy that have come to be used today: Art Therapy.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy can be defined as “... a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.” This form of therapy can help a person relax, self-reflect, be more in touch with themselves, and help them solve a number of other issues they may encounter during the recovery process.

Purpose of Art Therapy

This form of therapy has quickly become one of the most widely used techniques for drug addiction recovery therapy. Since this form of therapy is all about self-expression, it really helps a person get in touch with themselves, open up more, and understand their feelings. Art therapy is a complementary technique that has been integrated into the drug addiction recovery process only recently. This therapy can help a person improve socially, emotionally, and mentally through the emphasis on self-expression.

Whether addiction started from trauma, relationships, past memories, or job-loss, this form of therapy has a strong emphasis on being open and expressing how you feel about things. One thing addicts do is suppress their emotions deep down inside of them, resulting in their substance abuse problems. Art therapy seeks to bring out these suppressed feelings in order to expose them and, ultimately, get rid of them. This form of therapy has some incredible benefits, here are some of the best ones:

1. Visual Communication

Rehabilitation can be a scary thing for somebody that is new to it. One of the goals that rehabilitation seeks to achieve is more communication, but this isn’t always so easily achieved. If someone is coming into rehab, chances are they are new to it and don’t feel comfortable opening up to people they do not know (peers & faculty). They may also have low self-esteem since they are in a place which essentially confirms they have a problem with addiction. Through art therapy, a person can open up visually. When a patient opens up visually, they may be more likely to open up verbally, given some time. Communication is key if someone wants to achieve long-term sobriety.

Art therapy provides you with a non-verbal method of communication. You may not be comfortable with sharing personal details right away, and art therapy can give you the voice you need.

2. Rediscover Yourself

Going through recovery means going through some of the most difficult experiences you will ever go through, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Art therapy can help a person through these tough times and help them rediscover who they truly are outside of their addiction. If a person struggles with addiction, chances are they turn into a completely different person while they are addicted to a substance. Substance abuse can take away who you truly were before addiction. Addiction can cloud your mind and make you turn into something you aren’t; compulsive, selfish, and irrational. This is why art therapy is an excellent method for self-discovery and re-discovering self-worth.

3. Prevents Relapse

One of the biggest dangers in addiction recovery is a relapse. When a person first starts recovery, their body is going to do whatever it can to make that person fall back into addiction. Addiction has caused a person to be completely dependent on a substance in order to feel any form of normalcy. Since the body and mind have become so dependent on the feelings it gets from substance abuse, a person can have an extremely difficult time fully recovering. These extreme feelings a person has during recovery can be defined as withdrawal. Art therapy is an excellent way for someone to occupy their mind, ease their worries, and express their feelings on paper. This way, a person can distract their mind, body, and soul from any cravings they may feel in the early stages of recovery.

Learn More on Art Therapy

During recovery, a person should expect to encounter extreme emotions and feelings. One of the hardest things for an addict to do is express these thoughts and feelings. If they do not express themselves, it may be harder for them to achieve sobriety. This is why therapies like art therapy are so helpful in cases of addiction. Not only does an addict have suppressed emotions from addiction, but they also have extreme emotions that they will encounter during the early stages of recovery.

Art therapy seeks to bring out those suppressed feelings a person had that caused/enabled their addiction and eliminate any negative ones they have in their first experiences in sobriety. Art therapy can help an addict rediscover who they were without their chemical dependency and rebuild their lives through self-expression. Art creates a safe space for a person to truly express their feelings without actually having to say anything.

Content for Arizona Addiction by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment and technology. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media


If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact 602-737-1619 or email info@arizonaaddiction.com to get the help you need. Our acclaimed recovery environment merges upscale, luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare.

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