“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” –Aristotle
Healing through the arts is not a new idea, but its use in addiction treatment has begun to gain traction in the past several years. In a typical drug rehab program, a client is asked to do a significant amount of talking. Sometimes the subjects are simple and provide a great deal of insight into past behaviors and feelings.
What happens when emotions or past hurts block those words? It may be difficult to open up about certain aspects of your life, particularly if you are now asked to do so without the benefit of drugs or alcohol. Sometimes art therapy can be another way to express those emotions and open an otherwise closed door. This is why this type of treatment is becoming so valuable in drug rehab.
What Is Art Therapy?
In an art therapy session, you may be provided with a variety of different art supplies such as paint, colored pencils, charcoal, clay, wire, paper, canvas, and cloth. You might then be asked to answer a certain question with your art project. The good news is that there is no right or wrong answer. You may also be asked to simply create a self-portrait or express how you feel with your art.
When you participate in art therapy, you will have guidance from a trained professional. This is merely a different kind of treatment than the traditional method of sitting around in a circle and telling others how you currently “feel.” Since emotions can be volatile in early recovery, art therapy provides a way to access and express feelings nonverbally.
How Effective Is Art Therapy for Addiction Treatment?
Not everyone who attends drug rehab finds it easy to express themselves in words. When you have access to art therapy, there is another way. This type of treatment can help access emotions, develop skills for self-awareness, and allow for greater introspection.
While there have not been many studies related to art therapy and substance abuse, there have been a few. One study published in the Journal of Addictions Nursing found that both art and music therapy were beneficial in addiction treatment when they were used to address unique patient needs.
One of the greatest benefits of art therapy is that it can penetrate a person’s psyche on a subconscious level. A discussion in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association points out that many people who seek addiction treatment are only hoping to change their behavior. Instead, art therapy could encourage patients to examine the damage done by drugs and alcohol and make a lasting change.
Can You Find Art Therapy at Drug Rehab?
Art therapy has been practiced in the U.S. since the 1940s, but using art as a healing source goes back centuries. When you decide to go to drug rehab, ask if the facility provides holistic therapy in addition to traditional methods. This often means that you will also have access to art therapy and other helpful types of addiction treatment.
At The Recovery Village, we provide clients with a wide range of treatment options that include cognitive behavioral therapy and various holistic therapies. You will have the opportunity to participate in art therapy and receive its benefits when you attend one of our comprehensive treatment programs. Contact us now to learn more about admissions and take the first step to starting your new life.