What is Art Therapy?

The world of rehab is changing. Once, medical professionals counted solely on psychotherapy (talk therapy) to help patients overcome addiction. Now they are integrating alternative methods like yoga, meditation, and art therapy. But what art is therapy, and what does it entail? This article will provide all the answers you need.

Art therapy is particularly beneficial because it works on many levels in helping patients get well. It’s a relaxing activity that provides feelings of accomplishment and improves self-esteem. It’s also a hobby that can relieve the boredom that draws a person to use. 


What is Art Therapy?

Mental health experts introduced art therapy in the 1950s. It is a strategy that uses art for healing purposes. It is often integrated into the recovery process to help patients overcome addiction.

While we traditionally think of art as creating works of art like sculptures and paintings, it can refer to any type of art. Here are examples of art therapy that may be used to overcome addiction.

  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Coloring
  • Dancing
  • Wood carving
  • Learning and playing music
  • Looking at art
  • Writing
  • Drama


How is Art Therapy Used in Rehab?

There are several ways art therapy treatment is used in rehab. It may be a part of a therapy session or a rehab program. A Malibu residential rehab may set aside parts of the day for art therapy, or a therapist may encourage a patient to work on art in a session.

It can also be recommended outside of therapy. For example, your therapist may work with you to figure out a type of art you would find appealing. They will then recommend that you engage in art therapy for a certain amount of time each week. 

When you come to therapy, the therapist may ask you about your art sessions and how they made you feel. They may make recommendations for increasing or decreasing the time you devote to art and the activities you are engaging in. They may also ask you to bring pieces of art you created into therapy so you can discuss what it means to you. 


What are the Benefits of Art Therapy?

The American Art Therapy Association acknowledges that art therapy plays an important role in helping manage addiction. There are several reasons why art therapy rehab is beneficial. Here are some to consider. 

Allows the Patient to Express Themselves Non-Verbally: Many people have difficulty discussing things that are bothering them. Art allows them to express themselves in a non-verbal, less direct manner, so they have a healthy outlet for their emotions. 

Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Individuals often use drugs to relieve stress and anxiety. Art reduces stress, so people are less likely to drink or do drugs. 

Provides a Hobby: Some people use drugs and alcohol because they have nothing better to do. Art provides people with a hobby, so they can keep themselves occupied and don’t resort to using. 

Boosts Feelings of Self-Confidence: Feelings of low self-worth are common among people that use drugs. Creating art gives people something to be proud of, so they are less likely to abuse their bodies with illicit substances. 

Treats Symptoms of Mental Illness: Many individuals use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate mental illness. Art reduces symptoms of mental illness that cause people to use, providing a dual diagnosis effect. 

Makes People More Willing to Get Help: Studies have shown that art therapy can decrease denial, reduce opposition to treatment and motivate people to change.


How to Find Art Therapy Programs in California?

There are many rehab programs in California, but it can be difficult to find one that offers art therapy treatment. Contact Rise in Malibu today if you are looking for a facility that provides this alternative therapy.

Rise in Malibu is a luxury rehab in Southern California that features private rooms with scenic views of the surrounding beach area. We offer a dual diagnosis approach that simultaneously treats addiction and its underlying cause. We provide the highest levels of care and have been accredited by the Joint Commission.

Addiction can be difficult to overcome, but fortunately, there are several strategies for achieving wellness. Rise in Malibu will use a variety of traditional and alternative methods, ensuring you get the customized care you require. Contact us to find out how to move on to a happier, healthier existence.

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