There are varieties of different ways for people to cope with the problems they experience in life. For some, talking things out with a professional can lead to healing and growth. For others, controlled sessions confronting the fears or anxieties that are the source of trouble can lead to tolerance and, eventually conquest of those phobias or worries.
And for others, finding new ways to express thoughts and feelings brings new insight and growth to the problem. Art Therapy is one way to explore this method of treatment, and it provides many unique advantages for those overcoming substance abuse.
Words Are Unnecessary
One of the most interesting ways that art therapy can help people in dealing with substance abuse recovery is that it allows the addict to NOT talk about it. Through either art, music, or even writing fiction and poetry, it provides people with an opportunity to creatively address their experience without ever needing to directly discuss it with someone else. As a work of fiction a character’s struggles now become a metaphor for the person’s own recovery. As a painting, the remorse, regret, or even self-discovery that comes from overcoming substance abuse can be portrayed on the canvas.
It also provides a way for people to express their feelings without having to talk about them. In some instances, it acts as a vehicle to express certain aspects of the recovery experience that words might not properly convey.
While an artistic or creative endeavor is good for anyone, for people recovering from substance abuse it can be especially productive. It allows people to engage in introspection and exploring their feelings in a safe, controlled manner that focuses on the artwork, not themselves. This allows people to be honest about their feelings since they have a vehicle expression that makes them feel as if they are in charge.
It also allows them to use their time in a productive, positive way, learning new skills and giving them new goals to work towards, adding a creative kind of structure to the recovery process. This allows them to build on what they are learning to become better at both art and expression.
Working with Others
Art Therapy is also a safe way for people in recovery to indirectly deal with their thoughts and issues with the help of a therapist. By working with guidance, addicts can “assign” their concerns to the art they are working on, talking about the steps, obstacles or challenges that the work of art faces. In the same way, the therapist or counselor or can interact both with the art and the artist to discuss the work and its characteristics, challenges and ultimate goals for completion.
This therapy is a relatively recent addition to the kinds of treatment available for substance abuse treatment, but in many ways it offers unique and valuable tools and means of expression for those in recovery to assess themselves and their actual recovery process. Beachway offers an exclusive art therapy program that has had very positive effects as an alternative to traditional rehabilitation. Call 888-345-7505 today to learn more.