Creative Sobriety

Using Art Therapy to Treat Addiction

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Art therapy is simply the act of using art in any form of treatment. Art therapy can come in handy in the treatment of addiction, mental health problems and a host of others.

The major aim of art therapy is enabling the individual to communicate better when it comes to relating experiences associated with his or her health problems.

Also, art therapy equips the individual with the ability to properly manage past unpleasant experiences and live beyond the stigma associated with mental health problems and addiction.

One of the major aspects of art therapy is painting. During the course of painting, the individual is allowed to paint all his or her emotions on paper. Now, the individual does not have to be a professional painter, he or she would be given guidelines on how to go about it.

Painting helps the individual too brighten up and have a new approach to life. In addition, people in therapy who paint are boosting their self-esteem unknown to them. They are also helping themselves to reduce anxiety and depression.

Drawing is another major aspect of art therapy. During the course of drawing, the individual makes use of lines and symbol for the purpose of communication and expression of ideas and feelings.

Drawing during art therapy allows you to express yourself with the use of drawing instruments.

If the individual is someone who loves drawing, he or she can develop the skills and employ it in the management of common mental health problems and addiction. He or she would use drawings to express his or her emotions instead of indulging in addiction.

Art therapy is an important tool that comes in handy when the psychological aspect of recovery is to be treated. When the individual finds it difficult to vocalize some experiences, it can be done via art and this has proved to be efficacious.

When art therapy is combined with recovery services like family counseling, group and individual therapy and a host of others, it becomes a great way to boost the healing phase.  


Art therapy is a treatment process which assist in helping addicted individuals to recuperate.

Art therapy is therapeutic in nature and individuals who take part in it, employ the creative pattern and process that comes with artwork to express their emotions and feelings. 

Art therapy comes in handy when you want to handle emotional conflicts, personal improvement, behavior management, mental health treatment and control of addiction.

Art therapy helps you to understand visual interaction. At the start of a rehab, it could be challenging for you.

However, when you remain consistent and with the help of people who are around you, you will be fine. Art therapy can be regarded as a suitable act of communication and it appropriately replaces vocal communication.

So, people who have problems communicating would find art therapy as a great alternative, particularly those who find it difficult to narrate what they are going through.

Also, the use of art therapy ensures individual breakthrough. People who are going through unfavorable situations will find art therapy a proficient means of visual communication.

Someone who exhibits positive recovery signs during the course of art therapy will definitely want to know more about himself or herself. In addition, he or she will learn to put trust in therapists.

In addition to this, addicted individuals who undergo art therapy will have a better form of self-reflection. For instance, you might be given images illustrations where the negative and unpleasant effects of addiction would be displayed.

Having a graphic representation of these would give you more reasons why you should not indulge in your addiction.

For people who do not have a good dose of self-confidence, art therapy helps to build it. If you observe closely, you will notice that people who do not think well of themselves are those who get addicted.

With art therapy, they are bound to get better with themselves, and they would carry on with their lives as usual.

Emotional restoration is one of the benefits of art therapy and this helps an individual recovering from addiction to readjust positively.

Why Art Creation Helps Mental Health

art therapyArt creation is good for people on many levels. It reflects our culture, documents our history, connects people everywhere and gives creative people an outlet for their angst. But one less known function of art is that it balances people’s mental health. Both creating and experiencing art have been found to increase a person’s mental health significantly. Creating art especially allows an artist to go through a self discovery process as they reflect themselves through their creative work. This benefit of art occurs for many reasons.

Firstly, art allows an artist to express themselves without difficult thinking. There is no right or wrong in art, only personal expression. Therefore, art is not mentally taxing for anyone. On the contrary, it is soothing. In most other disciplines, there are problems to solve and riddles to figure out. While some find this enjoyable, the benefit of expressing one’s self through an automatic task that allows the thoughts to wander freely cannot be overstated. Doing something functional but thinking freely at the same time makes use of both sides of the brain at once, enabling your neural network to be very connected.

The creative process makes use of parts of the brain that people fall out of touch with. This is very important to mental health because recalling the unadulterated thought patterns of your youth is part of the mental healing process. The more parts of your brain that are active, the better off you are. Brain scans have indicated extensive activity in the brain of someone creating art. As you get in touch with yourself through creative expression, you grow your own brain activity and make yourself more functional. This is a good reason for everyone to participate in art creation.

And lastly, art offers a person a judgment free zone. Sometimes this has to come with protection of a person’s creative space from those who will pass judgment on it, or for more seasoned artists, criticism may be embraced as part of the artistic process. Regardless, the art creation process itself is a totally safe zone and is very nurturing for a person who needs to express themselves.

Art Removes Inhibitions

art uninhibitedArt creation is a universal way of breaking down inhibitions. Inhibitions are things that hold us back from being completely truthful with ourselves and with others. Art has the ability to remove inhibitions because it is free of rules, it is a zone where controversy and offense do not apply and it gives its creator a total sense of freedom. Because of this, art is often used as a healing device for people who need to recover from trauma, abuse, addiction or disorder.

The rules about art state that there essentially are no rules. The base foundation of art is that it is a completely free expression. There are not laws or regulations governing art, the way there are in other disciplines. Instead, one can depict what is truly on their mind and their heart, and this process is so rewarding and therapeutic that it causes people to let their walls down and connect.

In art creation, there is no such thing as controversy or offense, in theory. Art is intrinsically a totally free form of expression. As soon as offense is subjected onto art, there are rules governing it, which goes against its very nature. In reality, it often does not work this way. People frequently take offense to art and do their best to control its content. They do not see that they are threatening the ideological framework of art itself. This is why it is the preference of many to create art intended for their eyes and the eyes of those they know and trust alone.

Typically, art done for therapeutic purposes is this type of art. This is why it rewards the artist with a total sense of freedom. The feeling of free expression is what destroys inhibitions, connects a person with meaning, reveals a person’s truest identity, and reminds them of what they truly value in life. These things are very important to healing from negative thought and behavior patterns.

Self-Expression Through Art

self expression artArt is a universal language. Whether you fell in love with art creation when you were very young, or whether you have recently discovered its rewards as an adult, you know that art is one of the greatest means of self-expression. This is because art can communicate our thoughts and ideas in ways that other expressive outlets, such as verbal communication, fall short of doing. Art projects have been known to assist in the treatment of mental disorders and addiction by allowing the individual total freedom and creative control of their project in order to sort through their thoughts. When it is used purely for self-expression and therapeutics, there is no need for any particular level of talent or ability.

An art project can be focused on content or style, depending on the artist’s objective. A content focused piece of art is something that can be interpreted for a specific meaning. For example, if the artist creates an image of a homeless man being snubbed by a wealthy man, the art’s content is clearly aimed at the injustices of homelessness. But if the piece contains no recognizable images and centers on colors or shapes, the artist was being more stylistic. This can also be thought of as the difference between abstract and literal art.

Art can be emotional or philosophical. If someone has a bad day and they approach their canvas to release emotion, more than likely they will not approach their art project in a regimented, developed way, but rather in a completely spontaneous way. If someone conceives an art project over time and plans their execution of it, they are taking a more philosophical approach to art.

Art can be created through the use of a traditional medium or a non-traditional one. A traditional medium can be thought of as pencils, paints and pastels. A non-traditional medium can be practically any kind of material the artist can manipulate. There is a famous, modern piece of art that is simply a domestic iron with spikes glued to it.