Addiction treatment requires a multi-faceted approach in order to be effective. It’s necessary to address not only the habits and behaviors that are associated with active addiction but the underlying contributors as well, such as trauma, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, etc. A combination of psychoeducational groups, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and individual therapy is a good start but doesn’t necessarily address the entire spectrum of needs that the individual struggling with addiction has. This is why a more holistic approach works for so many people.
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How Creative Arts Therapy Can Help
What place does creative arts therapy have in addiction treatment? First, it’s important to realize what many individuals entering treatment are up against. They aren’t just dealing with addiction, they are often dealing with severe trauma. Many people who struggle with substance abuse are carrying deep wounds from childhood. Years of using substances have left them out of touch with their feelings. They are often suffering from incredibly low self-esteem and self-worth, and may have a great deal of difficulty verbally expressing themselves. Talk therapy is generally a part of addiction treatment, however, it may be a slow process.
Creative arts therapy can enhance existing treatments, providing an additional means of building rapport between the therapist and the client, allowing the client to express themselves in a non-verbal manner and helping them to process grief, trauma, and other issues. For the newly recovering individual who may be suffering from trauma, talk therapy is a slow process. Creative arts therapy is a good way to address this trauma in a way that is non-confrontational and helps the client get in touch with their deeper emotions and issues. For the person who is resistant to talk therapy, or who is struggling to put their powerful emotions into words, creative arts therapy is helpful.
There are other benefits, as well. People who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for some time are often suffering from a variety of issues. Substances affect the brain, and the damage can take a year or more to heal. Cognitive deficits are common, although temporary. A newly recovering individual may struggle with focus, decision-making, short-term memory, even hand-eye coordination. While the brain does begin healing itself right away, it is a process. Engaging in creative arts aids this process, improving cognitive skills, elevating mood and reducing stress.
Art therapy is a research-backed treatment that has been used by professionals since the 1940’s.
What Does Creative Arts Therapy Consist Of?
Creative arts therapy covers a wide spectrum of activities. Working with traditional art materials such as paints, collage materials, clay, etc. is common, however, it isn’t limited to that. Dance and movement, music, writing and other forms of artistic self-expression are also used. The therapist’s role is mainly to facilitate the process, not to guide or direct it. The process itself is therapeutic, but it can also help to open up a dialogue between the client and therapist, who is on hand to help process any feelings or issues that may come up during the session.
Art therapy isn’t about producing a piece of art. You don’t have to be an artist or have any formal training in art. It isn’t about the outcome or making anything in particular. It’s about self-expression, communication and using art to help find one’s inner voice. Anyone can participate in and benefit from art therapy. The environment in a creative arts therapy session is non-confrontational and low pressure. This can provide a welcome reprieve from other treatments that may be more demanding. It can allow the client space to relax and help them work through feelings of anger, worry, sadness and loss.
For the person who is struggling with co-occurring disorders in treatment, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, etc., creative arts therapy is valuable. People suffering from anxiety often find that painting or working with materials such as clay is an effective way to reduce the feelings of anxiety and stress.
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Creative Arts Therapy At Find Addiction Rehabs
Our treatment program offers a range of both traditional and holistic therapies for addiction treatment. These therapies help to address all aspects of the person. We understand that it’s not just about the substance abuse. Creative Arts therapy is one of the many other treatments we provide and includes dance and movement, drama, music, and art. Each of these is facilitated by a specialist trained in that specific form of creative therapy for addiction. If you are struggling with substance abuse, Find Addiction Rehabs can help, call 1-877-959-7271 for more information today.