Creative Expression for Addiction Recovery

You can find an art therapist through the American Art Therapy Association’s Art Therapist Locator. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about or treatment centers, please fill out the form below and one of our representatives will contact you shortly. In cases of addictions or obsessions and compulsions, participants can heal through doing healthy repetitive activity with a healthy focus like meditation to find peace or joy. Lastly, participants can feel empowered by being in control of emotions and their connection to trauma.

  • Through a paint brush, ink pen, charcoal pencil or the gentle maneuvering of clay, art becomes the expression of emotions that words cannot explain.
  • It can help us express things that we may feel shameful about, or things that are too painful to recount with words.
  • Many people who have been caught up in drug or alcohol abuse have self-medicated to forget their pain, or, at the very least, numb its impact.
  • The focus of these sessions is never on artistic skill or developing talent – it’s not even about creating something aesthetically pleasing.

You should speak to licensed therapists and clinical recovery specialists for the best results. They can tell you more about art therapy and whether it’s ideal for your unique case. For those who want to remove drug and alcohol dependency from their lives will find that, even after treatment, maintaining their mental health and avoiding triggers is a challenging, ongoing task.

How Art Can Help in Addiction Recovery

Through therapeutic treatments, clients learn how to access their emotions and get more comfortable with them. From there, understanding the why about emotional responses helps to better moderate and manage them when they arise. It’s often a painful and challenging process that fuels negativity and the resurgence of agonizing memories.

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Elinor Ulman, one of the pioneers of art therapy, was one of the first to use art therapy for substance abuse. She published the findings of her work at the Alcoholic Rehabilitation programme of the District of Columbia in 1953. Art therapy is now used across many treatment programmes as an alternate form of therapy. As per SAMHSA’s Group Therapy guide, art therapy is a sort art therapy for addiction ideas of expressive group therapy that can help people express thoughts and feelings that they may not be able to convey verbally. People who have underlying psychological disorders related to their addiction, such as a history of abuse, benefit most from this therapy. As a part of addiction treatment, people will have plenty of alternative therapy methods to choose from.

Drawing A Life Timeline

There’s beauty in that, and often inspires a person to delve further into their artistry, while helping others step outside of the fear of judgment to begin exploring art therapy for themselves. Exercising creative expression through art is a non-invasive way to put emotions back into place and begin to heal. For those who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse, often times their initial use started as a form of self medication. The simple act of drawing is in itself a peaceful activity, and zentangles have risen in popularity as a therapeutic use for many forms of mental challenges.

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