A frequently used form of therapy, experts designed art therapy to allow clients to explore their throughts and feelings in a creative manner. Any art therapy program is experiential therapy. This means clients are active creating their art and dynamic in their expression. The art therapy program at Integrative Life Center promotes healing through art and creativity.
How an Art Therapy Program Works
Art therapy inspires wellness through personal insights, processing emotions, and connection with the community. Art therapy is facilitated by an Art Therapist, a master-level clinician, who can work with exploring the client’s feelings through their art in a safe environment. Research shows art therapy supports addiction recovery by encouraging self-efficacy, shame reduction, and empowerment through the creative process. Creative techniques may include painting, drawing, sculpting, and collage or mixed media. No matter the art genre, clients use their chosen medium to both react, explore, and articulate their experience.
What makes art therapy such an effective technique is how it gives clients freedom. Rather than being placed in competition with others or with oneself, art allows for non-judgmental work to be done. The experience is intensely subjective meant to give each client the freedom to invent new ways to delve into their issues. Often clients discover as they paint, sculpt, act through drama, dance, or create music new perspectives from which to view themselves and others.
Art and Community
According to the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), art therapy “enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.” Clients in an art therapy program at Integrative Life Center embrace metaphor. In this way, they explore the symbolic and nonverbal to see how their mental health issues or recovery can be approached. As individuals explore themselves through art, they come to examine and admire what others in the program are doing. The community that forms from support and learning from others as clients draw, paint, sing, dance, or write help many feel less isolated. The confidence is then something that spills over into their lives once out of treatment. Being part of a supportive, energetic and engaged community lowers the risk of relapse for those clients in substance abuse recovery. Also, it gives clients struggling with mental health issues the resources they need when they encounter difficult times.
Through creative art-making, with the support of an Art Therapist, people may:
- Increase self-awareness and achieve new insights
- Identify strengths and improve self-esteem
- Express difficult emotions
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Cope with symptoms and trauma
- Manage addictions and behavior
- Resolve emotional conflicts
- Enhance social skills
- Enjoy creativity
In Integrative Life Center’s art therapy program, clients discover new skills and make friendships. Also, it is a therapy clients can take with them wherever they go after treatment making it invaluable.