It’s not always easy to put feelings into words.
That’s especially true while in recovery from drugs or alcohol. You might feel guilt, hope, loss, frustration, happiness, fear, and elation—all in one day.
It’s easy to see why, for many of us, conventional therapy can, at times, be challenging. You just can’t put the totality of your feelings into words.
At The Raleigh House, we offer a fully integrated suite of treatments for substance use disorders to help you express yourself in a comfortable and fulfilling way, including art therapy.
Art therapy gives our clients a treatment that allows them freedom of expression using a communication method distinctly different from traditional talk therapy.
Let’s explore art therapy in more detail below.
Art therapy is a treatment strategy that involves creative activities (e.g., painting, drawing, or sculpting) to help process underlying emotional events.
Master’s level clinicians guide artistic expression and help clients uncover and interpret different issues and feelings.
While art therapy traditionally involves clients creating unique art, it can also include looking at and analyzing existing works of art. It is used as a supplement to other types of treatment for substance use disorder and co-occurring conditions. Art therapy can be used in tandem with the following interventions
Art therapy aims to enhance substance use disorder treatment objectives, but it is a highly effective treatment for clients experiencing associated mood disorders. Clients struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex traumas, anxiety disorder, and depression as co-occurring conditions often achieve positive outcomes.
Art therapy can support significant self-discovery when used to address substance misuse or mental health. Art therapy can help clients focus on numerous addiction-related issues safely and productively. The most common types of art therapy include
The type of art therapy used will be primarily based on the client’s comfort with the particular artistic medium. Because the success of the treatment depends upon the clients’ self-expression, it is essential to have the guidance of a certified art therapist trained to incorporate psychotherapy into the creative process.
Art therapy’s main benefit is that it facilitates nonverbal expression.
Talking about traumas and family discord can be painful, particularly within the context of addictive behaviors. However, art therapy offers an effective communication strategy that does not necessarily involve directly articulating specific sources of pain.
According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy can be helpful in the following six ways
It’s worth pointing out that art therapy can be fun, even if you don’t consider yourself artistically talented. And the goal of treatment isn’t just to end substance use. It’s to discover how to enjoy life again.
Painkiller addiction can be hard to get a handle on with traditional therapies. That’s why we offer art therapy for those aiming to reach long-term addiction recovery.
One of the most significant benefits of art therapy for painkiller addiction is finally feeling like you can express yourself.
You can put emotions for which you have no words onto a canvas. Sometimes, this can even spark a breakthrough in which you discover something new—and important—about yourself.
There are other benefits, too. The repetitive motions of painting or drawing in a quiet room are often soothing. It also leaves a person little room to think about painkillers. That feeling of calm can begin to chip away at stress or anxiety.
Why do children like to draw? Many people think it’s a natural desire that we’re born with but that we lose as we get older and busier and don’t want to “waste time” on pointless hobbies.
Which is nonsense, of course. Ask ten people—all nonaddicts—if they ever experience stress, depression, or anxiety. Art is for everyone, even those living with a painkiller addiction.
Everyone’s addiction and experiences are different, so not everyone will respond to a cookie-cutter treatment plan.
That’s why we offer holistic treatments like art therapy to help people explore their addiction and communicate in ways they may not be able to do in group or individual therapy.
Art therapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment for clients who might be reluctant to address specific sensitive topics or experiences that trigger substance misuse.
At The Raleigh House, we offer a holistic approach to recovery, providing tailored treatment programs that help clients discover the core issues behind their substance misuse.
If you struggle with substance use disorder, please get in touch with our team of addiction specialists.
When you’re ready to heal, we’re here to help. Contact us today.