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Art Therapy for Recovery: Why It Works

woman painting using art therapy for recovery

When you decide it’s time to get on the path to recovery, you’ll hear about a combination of evidence-based treatments and non-traditional yet powerfully healing alternative therapies. Art therapy for recovery is one of them.

Art therapy is the incorporation of creative activities into the healing process. These may include things like painting, sculpting, story writing, dance, and drawing. Art therapy may sound like fun and games, but it has a crucial role in the healing process. Using the creative process to explore an individual’s emotions and mental state can help them see and confront their issues. Also, for some, art therapy is an excellent means of communication as there are individuals who find it challenging to express their thoughts and feelings coherently or satisfyingly. Yet, through art, they are best able to show others what they are struggling with, what they are enduring, and how they are feeling.

Art Therapy for Recovery: Getting In-Touch with Your Emotions

There is something incredibly powerful about artistic expression. It can take what’s on the inside, even the stuff we don’t want to acknowledge. Then it can bring it out into a physical form.

As a result, you can process those emotions until you eventually can processing the feelings inside and in real-time.

Art promotes the growth of self-awareness and the interconnectivity of mind, body, and spirit.

The Power to Create

You may feel powerless right now. Addiction is controlling your life. And as a result, it’s spinning out of control.

But when you create artistically, you rediscover your inner power to heal and change your life for the better.

Just like a sculpture creates a vase, you can shape your life, making decisions now that reveal a better future.

Community to Stay on the Healing Path

Art therapy for recovery done in a social setting also allows you to connect with others and share what art means to you. You get to see what others are experiencing and know that you’re not alone.

This can be life-affirming and healing.

Enhancing Social Skills

Art helps you process emotions. And it’s also a social activity. So you have the opportunity to interact with others while emotions are out in the open.

For example, someone may not like what you created. You may feel like lashing out. But you’ll find out that just because someone doesn’t like something you create, doesn’t mean they’re rejecting you. You can also learn how to respect the opinions of others even if you don’t agree.

Lowering Anxiety and Improving Depression Symptoms

If you have bottled up emotions, then getting them out in a constructive way can offer immediate mental health benefits. Art therapy for recovery produces meaningful results, including reducing the impact of anxiety and depression as well as reducing the chances of their recurrence.

As you create and notice some of the other benefits discussed here, you feel more confident, aware, and able to express.

What’s more, art can be fun. So you may find opportunities to laugh and feel connected to people. Both of these can ease mental health challenges.

How Integrative Life Center Uses Art Therapy to Enhance Recovery

The Integrative Life Center in Nashville has chosen to include art therapy for recovery to help clients achieve healing and growth. It may be used in combination with other therapies, such as:

Because you’re an individual with unique life experiences, we use a variety of approaches to support healing and personal growth. So if you’re living with addiction, we encourage you to learn about the power of art therapy for recovery. Call us at 615.455.3903 to learn about our programs.

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