Arbor Behavioral Health is proud to offer this exciting, new treatment method for battling drug or alcohol addiction. Art therapy uses the visual arts and creative process to improve the psychological health, cognitive abilities, and sensory-motor functions for the individual. It is action-oriented and experience-based, allowing the individual to uncover feelings and thoughts that lead to addiction, as well as a way to deal with them safely. Thus art therapy is a beneficial part of the treatment plan.

What exactly is art therapy?

Art therapy is exactly what it sounds like – using the arts to help people resolve inner conflicts, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.  Various art forms are used including:
  • Visual arts such as painting or drawing,
  • Written arts such writing poetry or short stories, or
  • Performing arts such as music, writing poetry or performing in plays.

Art therapy was first used in physical therapy for those who had suffered some type of physical or mental trauma. Therapists soon saw the healing properties of letting the patient create through the various arts. Engaging in art offers participants an outlet for their ideas and feelings.

How does art therapy help addiction recovery?

Art therapy allows the person look inside themselves and contemplate the nature and causes of their addiction.  This helps in various ways. It may uncover why they suffer from addiction. More importantly, participation in the arts is a healthy outlet for dealing with the emotions that addiction stems from.

Participation in the arts is also a very effective stress reliever. Many times people turn to drugs or alcohol with the intent of “taking the edge off” for an hour or two. Then an hour becomes a day, a day becomes a week, and the next thing they know they’re facing a full-blown addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Art therapies are also increasingly seen as an effective type of group therapy. Traditional group therapy involves participants sitting in a circle, sharing feelings and ideas. Art therapy lets people communicate in a non-verbal manner, something which may be nearly impossible for someone who is battling an addiction.

Art therapy is also commonly used with families as it can uncover issues within the family that cause or perpetuate an addiction.  Participation in art therapy is generally considered safe and offers a great way to build trust. This can form the basis of the necessary support system that an addict will need throughout their addiction treatment.

The team at The Arbor is proud to be able to offer leading edge treatment options that help individuals battle alcohol or drug addiction and improve their mental health. Art therapy is just one of the many ways to battle an addiction and get back on track to a healthy, normal life.

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