What Is Art Therapy for Drug and Alcohol Treatment?

Art therapy can offer a patient an expressive and abstract method of articulating their experience or history in a way that enables the healing process to progress. Through many creative activities, people facing challenges can gain greater awareness and insight about themselves and their traumatic experiences and stresses while having a useful tool for improving cognitive abilities.

Art therapists, professionals who have been trained in both the arts and therapy, lead Beachway’s art therapy sessions. They have an extensive understanding of psychological theories, clinical practices, and human development as well as various artistic traditions.

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Why Is Art Therapy a Useful Tool in Drug and Alcohol Treatment?

When other kinds of communication prove ineffective, Beachway finds that art therapy for substance abuse provides an alternative form of self-connection and release — no matter what level of experience or artistic proficiency they may have.

Some benefits of art therapy include:

  • Visual communication
  • Personal breakthroughs
  • Self-confidence
  • Emotional healing
  • Self-discovery
  • Relapse Prevention

Overall, art therapy is a useful tool in substance abuse recovery because it helps individuals:

  • Resolve conflict
  • Improve interpersonal skills
  • Manage problematic behaviors
  • Reduce negative stress
  • Achieve personal insight

How Does Our Program Work?

Creating and working on a piece engages several parts of the brain. As such, the practice opens up the mind to help deal with abstract feelings like fear, anger, and insecurity. It is not the art therapist’s role to interpret artwork’s meaning; their role is to help patients find the meaning behind what was created.

Our program taps into the group’s creative tendencies. Additionally, our therapists give reading and writing assignments intending to challenge the group. Participants are encouraged to share and present their projects to others in the group, whether in drawing, sculpture, painting, or poetry. In combination with traditional dual diagnosis treatment programs, art therapy can be a significant component in furthering substance abuse recovery.