Art is very therapeutic. It can take us back to blissful childhood days, can transport us to a happier place, change our mood, and help us deal with trauma and difficult periods in life. Now, the very same concepts that have been used by counselors in their practices are now being implemented through art therapy in addiction treatment.
How Art Therapy in Addiction Treatment Works
Art therapy exchanges verbal communication with non-verbal acts. Participants use their hands to create sculpture, paint, and make art projects in order to express their feelings and emotions. Patients communicate through their art rather than telling the counselor what they are thinking or feeling.
A trained art therapist will develop a personalized plan for the patient. Because art therapy in addiction treatment is used in a controlled setting, patients struggling with substance abuse can identify the causes. Psychologists suggest that using art therapy in addiction treatment is beneficial. This is because when patients first enter therapy, they are most often angry. In turn, creating art allows the individual to express their anger without the fear of any repercussions. Art can also be a way to measure where the individual is in their recovery and the progress they have made. Therapists note that there is a difference in the work prepared by patients new to therapy that patients who have managed to work through their anxiety regarding their substance abuse. The more grounded in sobriety the more comfortable and happier their work becomes. If the mood of the patient’s work does not seem to improve, then the therapist may modify the patient’s plan for therapy and make the adjustments needed to help the individual reach the desired results.
Art therapy is very effective when implemented into an addiction treatment program. Recovery is an ongoing process. Moreover, it’s oftentimes filled with a kaleidoscope of emotional changes. During this time, individuals may return to destructive behaviors in order to cope. Art therapy in addiction treatment offers a productive means for managing the stress that many experience as they continue sobriety.
Benefits to Patients
Studies show that art therapy has been successful in addiction therapy by:
- Creating a meditative environment
- Increasing relaxation
- Reducing stress
- Decreasing depression
- Improving verbalization skills
- Improving relationships
Research has shown that recovering addicts and alcoholics in art therapy appear to manage better and are able to cope with the issues surrounding their addiction. What is more, they learn to address their reasons for substance abuse and acquire the skills needed to help them prepare for a life that does not include drugs and alcohol.
Most substance abuse professionals believe that a contributing factor to relapse is boredom. Art therapy can lessen the effects of boredom and reduce the temptation for relapse. Further, individuals who use creating art as a means to escape the loneliness that sometimes occurs as they build a new life that does not include old drug and drinking buddies; find their solitude as an opportunity for self-discovery. Rather than look for someone to engage in the old behaviors, they find personal fulfillment in creating a new project. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse and ready to get your life back, Gallus Detox Centers can help. Our IV therapy medical detox is the safest and most comfortable method for detoxing from alcohol and drugs. We will also help you plan for your continued recovery whether entering a rehab facility, a 12-step program, a non-12 step program or additional counseling. Other programs Gallus Detox Centers offers include:
- 3 day alcohol detox
- Drug detox program
- Opioid detox program
- Opiate detox program
- Inpatient detox program
Call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today at We will also help you plan for your continued recovery whether entering a rehab facility, a 12-step program, a non-12 step program or additional counseling. Call 855-338-6929, to see if our specialized treatment is right for you.