When it comes to addiction recovery, an individual care plan tailored to the patient’s unique needs is usually the best action. Treatment centers typically use a combination of treatment methods and mix and match various techniques to achieve optimal results. Art therapy is one of the most popular options for people of all ages and a great way to supplement more traditional methods such as group or talk therapy.
How Can Art Be Used in Therapy?
At its core, talk therapy aims to empower patients to express themselves. It’s very common for people in recovery to struggle to put their thoughts and feelings into words. As a result, they often find that they bottle emotions simply because they cannot express them to others. While in the past, they might have used substances to help them deal with this inability, recovery is a time of developing better-coping strategies. Improving verbal communication skills is invaluable, but art can be another excellent way to explore, understand, and express emotions.
What Does Art Therapy Involve?
Addiction treatment can incorporate many different types of art, such as painting, sculpting, dancing, playing music, singing, and acting. While art therapy is a distinct modality, all of these methods can be used by the patient on their own to cope with their feelings. Making art is, luckily very accessible for everyone, and implementing aspects of art therapy can be incredibly beneficial.
The therapist usually leads an art therapy session. Depending on the therapist’s training and the patient’s needs, the therapy session can unfold in many different ways. For instance, the patient may produce an art piece and then use it to open a conversation on certain topics. In other cases, the therapist may be actively involved in the development of the piece. At the start of art therapy, most practitioners use some common themes as a starting point. The first art piece is usually dedicated to what led the patient to seek treatment and what their motivations are for getting better. The second piece may be about their journey from the start of their addiction to the present day and the way they intend for their life to unfold in the future. Other pieces can be about difficulties during recovery, what draws them to substance use, the negative effect addiction has on their life, and what motivates them to get better. Of course, all of these topics can be explored through art even outside formal art therapy and they can provide an excellent starting point for anyone looking to quit substance use.
Do you have difficulties with addiction recovery? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to create an individualized treatment plan for you and give you the help you need to get better.