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How Art Therapy Is a Healthy Outlet

How Art Therapy Is a Healthy Outlet

Art therapy is becoming an increasingly popular therapy that provides healthy outlets for recovering addicts

According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy is a tool that many treatment professionals use for people who struggle with both addiction and mental health problems.

The Process of Art Therapy

In art therapy, patients use one or several artistic tools to express their thoughts and feelings. Crayons, colored pencils, paints, pen and ink and charcoals are some of the media that patients may use during the process. An art therapist encourages patients to explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviors associated with their mental health, addiction and the underlying causes.

Goals of Art Therapy

As with many therapeutic strategies that deal with mental health issues or addiction, the primary goal of therapy is to understand the causes, triggers and behaviors associated with the condition. With this understanding, therapists work with patients to explore these causes and triggers to find the relationship between them. By knowing the connection between a trigger and behavior, counselors and patients can find alternate reactions to problems.

Art therapists work with people who struggle with mental health issues and addiction to achieve the following goals:

  • Exploring feelings – Art therapy creates a powerful way for people to verbalize their feelings, especially for people who struggle to do so
  • Reconciling emotional conflicts – Conflicts are emotional issues, but art therapy gives patients the power to deal with these issues in relaxed ways
  • Fostering self-awareness – Through expressive therapy, people can learn more about themselves
  • Managing behaviors – Patients empower themselves when they learn about other ways to manage triggers and emotions
  • Developing social skills – Sharing the results of expressive therapies with others fosters a sense of community while it also increases social skills
  • Reducing anxiety – When people receive tools to express themselves in relaxed ways, anxiety about expressing themselves is often reduced
  • Increasing self-esteem –Completing an art activity gives people a sense of accomplishment

Art therapy provides a non-confrontational environment in which people have the freedom to explore and resolve issues.

Creative and Expressive Therapies

Art therapy is just one of the many therapies found under the umbrella of creative therapies. Other therapies include dance, drama, music, poetry and creative writing, which are often referred to as expressive therapies since they enable people to express themselves freely.

Many addiction and mental health treatment facilities incorporate creative therapies into their standard treatment options. The value of individual therapy and group therapy grow when participants have a more personalized expressive outlet. These combined therapies are more effective for drug users who also deal with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other co-occurring conditions.

Learn More About Art Therapy

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction or a mental health issue, then art therapy might be an effective strategy for you. Please call our toll-free helpline now, as our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer questions about art therapy, mental health issues and addiction.

Get help now to begin recovery today.