Art therapy tools, in many instances, allow someone the opportunity to physically express the devastation caused by prolonged substance dependency when, otherwise, it is verbally difficult. Talking through traumatic experiences takes time and some may not be ready to discuss specific events for years. Additionally, some matters are simply too difficult to convey through spoken word. Some feelings and emotions are indescribable.
Fortunately, for these seemingly incommunicable sensations and experiences, we have art. In addition to acting as a method of communication, art therapy teaches residents to relax without the use of drugs or alcohol. Art, in and of itself, often proves extremely therapeutic and we believe in the healing properties of this creative medium. We promote recovery through creativity and incorporate painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, and other media of artistic expression to facilitate healing, self-discovery, and growth.
What is Art Therapy?
In art therapy, an individual uses his or her imagination and vision to convey emotions and experiences in a productive and healthy way. It is especially useful for those with underlying psychological issues that are directly related to chemical dependency disorders.
Because of the nonverbal nature of art therapy, individuals who have trouble verbally expressing themselves are given the opportunity to explore, understand, and resolve any addiction-related issues that may be occurring in their lives – issues that an individual may not feel comfortable discussing in regular conversation. In many instances, art therapy will be conducted in a group atmosphere, allowing residents to share their artwork with peers who may relate on a deep level, helping residents to better understand each other’s experiences while growing closer communally.
Using Art Therapy In Treatment
The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as “the use of artistic medium to further develop self-awareness, explore untapped emotions, control potentially erratic behaviors, foster the growth of social skills, improve self-esteem, and reduce both anxiety and depression.” It has proven especially beneficial in addiction recovery as it has been shown to increase belief in the 12-step model of substance dependency treatment.
At first, many are apprehensive to engage in art therapy because they believe that artistic talent is a prerequisite. This is far from the truth as art therapy has been proven highly successful for those who have both absolutely no formal training and for those who make their livings via creative outlets.
The truth is, art therapy has proven highly successful and has become an indispensable component of the treatment program at Magnolia Ranch Recovery.