The Benefits of Art Therapy Programs for Addiction Recovery

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benefits of art therapy

Art therapy, in terms of addiction recovery, is a non-verbal, non-threatening, and creative way to understand and cope with addiction and the pain and hardships that both cause and stem from it. In other words, when a person is able to explore their experiences, emotions, and feelings through art, they are better able to process them. 

Art comes in many forms and may include:

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

There are generally three techniques commonly used in art therapy programs. They include using the above art forms in the following ways:

  • To introduce a deeper conversation or as a tool to explain thoughts from the artist’s point of view.
  • To let the artist’s mind roam freely, opening the door to an introspection of feelings.
  • To allow a therapist to guide and assist with the production of art.

6 Benefits of Art Therapy 

As part of the addiction recovery process and in conjunction with other professional therapies, art therapy programs support treatment goals by improving cognitive functions, fostering self-esteem and self-awareness, and enhancing social skills. 

Six other benefits of art therapy are that it:

  1. Expands forms of communication to better convey personal experiences.
  2. Helps express thoughts and feelings.
  3. Provides an opportunity to explore, understand, and resolve issues.
  4. Discovers insight and meaning.
  5. Practices introspection and healthy coping skills
  6. Offers understanding and empathy for others’ feelings.

While creating art can be done outside of a professional setting—and is encouraged there—doing so in the presence of, and with the guidance of a professional addiction recovery therapist will help an individual to gain the maximum benefits.

Author Eileen Miller wrote, “Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist.” We at Summit Malibu believe this to be true and have personally seen the significant positive effects art therapy has had on our residents.

Contact Summit Malibu for Art Therapy Programs

Summit Malibu sees first hand, every day, the benefits that individuals in recovery can gain from creating their personal artwork. If you or someone you know could benefit from implementing an art therapy program into the addiction recovery process, please contact Summit Malibu today!