Why Art Therapy is a Great Complementary Tool for Recovery

When a person decides to get professional help for addiction, they have several options available. Many treatment centers provide therapeutic tools that are outside the norm of what people typically think of as helpful in rehab. Traditional talk therapy is one way people get help but they also seek help with art, music, and other kinds of therapeutic expressions. The types of art therapy a person needs will depend on what is available and what they want to do while in rehab.

Types of Art Therapy

In art therapy, a person uses creativity and imagination to make art that expresses himself in a healthy and productive way. The goal of art therapy is for the person to expand their forms of communication to convey experiences in a different way. The following are just a few types:

  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Dancing
  • Drawing
  • Acting
  • Music
  • Poetry

Art therapy is a type of expressive group therapy that helps people express thoughts and feelings they might not be able to say with words. It is helpful for people with underlying issues related to the condition, including abuse, since creating art is a nonverbal process, art therapy provides an opportunity to explore, understand, and resolve issues in a person’s life that they may not want to explore.

Art Therapy Techniques

The following are just some of the techniques some people use in art therapy settings to support creative endeavors that will open up pathways of healing.

  • Gestalt: the therapist helps the person work out feelings and experiences. The artwork might be used as an introduction into a deeper conversation or as a tool for the person to explain thoughts and describe artwork from the artwork’s point of view.
  • Active imagination: using artwork as a starting point, the person lets their mind roam which opens the door to introspection and discussion about feelings.
  • Third-hand approach: incorporates help from the therapist. The person is in control of the vision but therapists assist with production of the art.

Art therapy and addiction treatment support people’s experiences, emotions, and issues that may contribute to addiction. It provides a safe space to communicate ideas and feelings without conversational methods. It is a big change for a person looking for something different than talk therapy and regular techniques.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.