art-therapyArt Based Therapy is liberating.
There are multiple options for the treatment of addiction.  Most treatment centers offer various sorts of therapy including individual, skill focused, group work and also recovery through art.  There are lots of different ways a person can express themselves in healthy and productive ways.  An art based recovery program provides the avenue for this exploration and helps the recovering addict with new forms of creative expression.  This allows them to better communicate what they are experiencing.

Art Based Therapy

The various forms of recovery through art include the basics such as painting, pottery and sculpting and drawing.  Essentially giving the person the more standard methods of expression through the creation of something in a physical form.  Other, less traditional ways can be through dancing, acting, music and poetry.  These methods of recovery through art allow the person to truly externalize their experiences and emotions in a form that does not need to be so “black and white”.

Aside from the poetry (and music with words) methods, these techniques give the addict the ability to foster and express those feelings without having to use words.  In some cases, such as those in recovery that have experienced abuse, this provides them the outlet to formulate and express the internal turmoil without having to have a standard conversation.

The above-mentioned techniques for recovery through art typically serve as a starting point for a more thorough conversation.  The therapist can use the items created as a “jumping off” point for further reflection.  The artwork can also be used as a place to start the conversation about the actual creation of the art.  A person in treatment would describe the piece and delve into further details as it directly relates to their past experiences.

Equally important is that art based recovery is a great way for people to work through experiences, emotions and issues that have led them down the path of addiction in the first place.  For those who are not comfortable with regular conversation, this technique can be very effective in allowing that person to explore (and express) their feelings in non-traditional and non-verbal ways.