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For many people in addiction treatment, creating art is an inspirational, motivational, and meaningful experience. Both creating and viewing art can be healing, teaching people something about themselves and how they interact with the world.
Do Creative Arts Really Help with Treatment?
The use of creative arts therapy for addiction treatment is a proven tool for holistic care. Studies indicate that the use of art can help improve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression, which often co-occur with substance use disorder.
What is Creative Arts Therapy?
Creative arts therapy is a type of holistic, supportive treatment designed to stimulate the brain and provide an avenue for expression. Creating art is so valuable during addiction treatment because it helps a person express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a meaningful way without having to talk about them directly.
There are no restrictions on the form of art that you may use. It could include music or drama. For some, writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, can be an exceptional way of working through pain and healing. Other art forms include:
- Writing poetry
- Writing music
Any type of medium that allows you to express yourself can be therapeutic, and the final product is much less important than the process of creating it.
The Value of Art Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Why would painting a picture help you through such a challenging health condition as addiction? Addiction brings with it complex feelings and intense memories. It often stems from periods of trauma that are very difficult to talk about with anyone or even think about on your own. Still, to work towards recovery, it’s critical to let these feelings surface so you can process them in a healthy way.
Art therapy allows you to express the anger you may feel at someone or your situation. It enables you to communicate the fear you have for the future. It may allow you to express the way your past traumatic experiences defined your path and how overwhelmingly frustrating it is that you’re battling for your life now. Expressing yourself without having to directly verbalize your emotions is empowering.
What Are the Benefits of Creative Therapy in Addiction?
In addiction recovery, the creative arts provide an avenue for you to express yourself, including what you’ve experienced, your thoughts, and your emotions in a meaningful, positive way. That’s critical for anyone suffering from alexithymia, a condition in which people cannot identify and describe their emotions. Creative art therapy offers an avenue to communicate openly about those experiences.
With creative therapy, you may see several key benefits:
- Over time, creative therapy may allow you to communicate with your therapist about your past trauma and pain, a valuable component of healing.
- Even those who may not be able to express themselves through their own art may be able to recognize their pain or emotions in the art created by others, providing a path to healing.
- With some practice, art therapy helps you learn how to regulate your emotions. Just by learning how to express yourself, you can work through those hard moments in a positive way.
- Art therapy also is a type of healthy coping mechanism. You’ll learn how to process your feelings properly, which could help you avoid relapse when frustration and stress become too much.
- This type of therapy also benefits brain health, improving focus and clarity.
Are You Ready to Explore What Creative Art Therapy Can Do for You?
Canyon Vista Recovery Center recognizes the value of holistic care during the addiction treatment process. We’re here to help you obtain all of the care you need to move beyond the limitations you feel and onto the path of addiction recovery. Learn more about our drug and alcohol treatment programs in Mesa, Arizona, and how we can help you today.