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The Power of Art Therapy for Addiction Treatment



For those dealing with addiction, there is a long list of potential treatment options. While there are a few common staples to treatment for those in an addiction recovery facility, there are also numerous experiential and alternative forms of therapy which can be beneficial.

Some of these types of therapies options include things like:
Yoga and exercise for addiction
● Mindfulness and meditation practices
● Art therapy

While exercise and mindfulness may seem obvious in their benefits as they can improve both physical and mental health problems, you may be wondering “how can art help?” or “what even is art therapy?”

Let’s take a deep dive into how this form of treatment can help with you or your loved one’s substance abuse problem.

Art Therapy: What Is It?
First things first, let’s better understand what art therapy actually is.

Art therapy is a form of clinical, therapeutic treatment which involves using art as an outlet for how a person is feeling personally. Clients will be involved in the making of art or interpretation of art to address their physical, mental, or emotional state and well-being. This form of therapy is used in numerous different types of treatment including mental health treatment, cancer treatment, and addiction treatment.

During sessions, art therapists will use art to help better understand a client’s psychological profile and overall psyche. Through the use of these artistic exercises, clients will learn to better understand themselves as well.

Some of the common exercises used during art therapy sessions include:
● Drawing an incident which occurred while using substances
● Stress painting (painting when a client has feelings of anxiousness)
● Drawing visual representations of emotions
● Starting an art journal

Along with creating art, some forms of art therapy include looking at established and famous pieces of art and interpreting them.

Now that we understand the definition of art therapy, let’s examine how it can actually help in the context of drug and alcohol addiction.

How Art Therapy Helps with Addiction
During art therapy, clients will engage in experiential exercises to get their minds and bodies working together as they confront substance abuse-related trauma. By using art therapy, clients can effectively express themselves visually rather than verbally. It also offers them a creative and outlet to help them cope with the thoughts and feelings they are experiencing. Both of these allow therapists to overcome potential psychological and mental blockages which can occur during regular talk therapy sessions.

Some benefits those who go through art therapy include:

● Decreased denial
● Reduced opposition to alcohol treatment
● Reduced shame of their situation
● Improved communication with therapists and others
● Improved motivation to get sober

For those looking into addiction treatment, there are many different forms of therapy and treatment options available. While there are a few commonplace forms of treatment present in almost all recovery facilities, great rehabs will create personalized treatment plans to ensure each client is being treated on an individual basis.

Now that you better understand art therapy and how it can be used in addiction treatment, you may be wondering where you can go to get this type of treatment of other helpful alternative forms of substance abuse therapy.

Finding Art Therapy and Addiction Treatment Near You
If you are looking for help for yourself or a loved one, there are many resources available to help you online. One of the best tools is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s treatment locator.

Along with tools like these, you must be able to differentiate between good treatment centers and bad ones – to do this you need to better understand what you are looking for.

First things first, you need to decide if you are going to look locally or nationally for substance abuse treatment. There are pros and cons to both decisions. For example, going locally allows clients to stay close to family members for things like family therapy; however, it also means that they are familiar with their surroundings and could potentially meet with friends who are not positive influences on their recovery.

Deciding between a local rehab or an addiction center in a different state is entirely based on what the client’s needs are. To better understand what might be best for you, it is helpful to talk with an admissions team from a facility.

When searching for rehab near you some things you should look for include evidence-based treatment, personalized treatment programs, licensed clinicians, and an accredited facility.

If you are looking for a rehab near you to help you or your loved one with a substance abuse issue, The Hope House is an Arizona rehab which provides advanced treatment programming to ensure all clients have the highest chance of long-term sobriety.










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