Coping with addiction can be a difficult and painful process. Part of the journey to healing includes getting at the underlying root causes. But often times, expressing one’s thoughts and feelings can be very hard to put into words. That’s where art therapy for addiction can be a powerful and important part of the process.
Finding the Right Art Therapy That Will Work for the Individual
No two people are alike. So, it stands to reason that one particular form of therapy that has been successful with some may not be as effective with others. At Beachway Therapy Center, we offer a wide range of services, which can be very useful in achieving recovery. They include the proven, traditional components like individual and group therapy, addiction education, 12-step meetings, relapse prevention, recovery groups and family therapy. In addition, we provide several holistic therapies, which can further support the individual’s process, including music therapy, psychodrama therapy equine therapy and art therapy projects for addiction.
What Is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is the creation of art by people who are experiencing trauma, illness or difficulties coping with their daily lives. Through the process of creation and appreciation within a group therapeutic context, people can gain greater awareness and insight about themselves and others. The creative process can help cope with traumatic experiences, stress, and symptoms and is a useful tool in improving cognitive abilities.
Art therapists, professionals who have been trained in both the arts and therapy, lead the sessions. They have an extensive understanding of psychological theories, clinical practices, human development as well as various art traditions.
The History of Art Therapy
Ever since the first cave dweller drew on his cave wall, art has been an integral part of human expression. To many who have toiled in their art throughout the centuries, the experience has been emotional, cathartic and rewarding. It was only in the mid-20th century; however, that artistic self-expression formally became a therapeutic practice. Today, art therapy has become a well-respected and widely used form of psychotherapy in a wide range of clinical settings, including mental health centers, grief counseling, prisons and addiction treatment programs.
Why Is Art Therapy A Useful Tool In Addiction Treatment?
Many people who suffer from addiction and alcoholism share some similar histories. Difficult home lives, trouble with parents, spouses or other loved ones can leave behind some raw wounds. It can also make it more difficult for them to respond well to traditional 12-step programs.
To make matters worse, these individuals often feel voiceless and ignored. They tend to expect and even seek out negative reinforcement as validation for themselves. People in this situation would benefit from any additional motivation or incentive that will feed their desire for recovery instead of the prevalent sense of defeatism or failure that often prevails.
Art gives the recovering addict a new mode of expression and self-reflection, which is particularly useful for those struggling with internal conflicts and difficulties in their relationships. When other kinds of communication proves to be ineffective, art therapy for substance abuse provides an alternative form of expression and release, while also helping to build trust with the therapist, improving one’s sense of self-worth and self-confidence and leading to significant breakthroughs, no matter what level of experience or artistic proficiency they may have.
How Does Art Therapy for Addiction Work?
It is well known that art therapy for addiction, like other forms of holistic therapies, is proven to help reduce stress and anxiety, resulting in lower levels of cortisol in the body. The lessened levels of stress and anxiety not only help the client to feel better; it promotes a greater possibility for trust and can modify how one perceives the physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal.
Creating and working on a piece of art engages several parts of the brain. It requires hand-eye coordination, which is centered in the right side of the brain associated with creativity. This opens up the client to deal with abstract feelings like fear, anger and insecurity by putting them into something more concrete that he or she can analyze and appreciate with the help of the art therapist.
The art therapy program in place at Beachway Therapy Center is made to tap into the group’s creative tendencies. Additionally, reading and writing assignments are given with an objective of challenging the individuals’ fertile minds. Participants are encouraged to share and present their art projects to others in the group, no matter if they are in the form of a drawing, sculpture, painting, poetry or music. Clients often feel more empowered thanks to the supportive encouragement and positive feedback they receive. In combination with traditional dual diagnosis treatment programs, art therapy can be a significant component in furthering addiction recovery.
Art Therapy at Beachway
Located in a beautiful South Florida setting, Beachway Therapy Center has several art-related amenities located nearby, including art galleries, centers for the performing arts, drum circles, festivals and outdoor venues where art shows and live concerts are often held. Many of the founders and staff at Beachway Therapy Center are artistic themselves, making art therapy a perfect fit. They are affiliated with many diverse artists in the community including musicians, painters, screenwriters, and poets, all of whom are committed to offering regular training sessions at the center to provide additional education and support to clients.
Want More Information?
If you’re interested in finding out more about art therapy for addiction, or any of our other services, call Beachway Therapy Center now at 877-284-0353. Our friendly and expert counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer any question you may have. The journey to recovery begins with a single, simple phone call.