Art therapy, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is a nontraditional type of therapeutic modality that is considered to be “not only compatible with but also essential to the success of treatment” for many individuals in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. Art therapy can be extremely beneficial to rehab patients in many ways, often creating new avenues for recovery, self-expression, and confidence building.
Alternative to Talk Therapy
Many individuals, especially those in substance abuse rehab centers, struggle with talk therapy sessions. Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to speak about oneself to a counselor or psychologist, and it can take a long time for a person to warm up to this concept. With art therapy, it can often be much easier for a person to express their feelings because they do not necessarily need to speak about them directly, something that can make art therapy an alternative to talk therapy, at least in the beginning of treatment.
In addition, this program has also been found to be largely beneficial to adolescents who are struggling with drug abuse issues, as “the expressive arts program provides a means of accessing feelings that adolescent clients may otherwise deny, suppress, or lack words to describe.” Art therapy is a great way of easing patients into treatment and allowing them to start with something easier than traditional therapy.
Art therapy helps you express yourself.
According to a study from the Journal of Addictions Nursing, “Main assumptions underlying art therapy are that the patient will be able to express him/herself through a non-verbal, imaginative, and creative exercise,” but the program itself can mean so much more. The self-expression that is often achieved through art therapy can create something amazing for the patient that they may have never experienced before. In addition, it allows people to learn a way to express themselves that will be available to them even when they leave treatment, as they can always return to the type of art with which they connected and create new pieces.
Being able to create something and express feelings inside oneself is incredibly beneficial to one’s confidence level, allowing patients to feel better about themselves as well as happier. This program itself is often able to increase confidence levels in many individuals and help patients become stronger every day. Substance abuse often takes away many of the things that give people confidence and happiness in their lives, and when art therapy is able to restore some of these feelings, it is very helpful to a person’s overall recovery.
Art Therapy as a Part of Rehab
As stated previously, art therapy takes its place in a rehab program easily and can be a fundamental part of the program itself. While patients still often need the traditional methods of treatment, this option can open someone up in ways they never imagined or allow them necessary alternatives through which to heal, making art therapy an extremely beneficial addition to substance abuse rehab.
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