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Monday, June 6, 2016

Unleash Your Inner Artist: Art Therapy and Addiction Recovery

You don’t have to be Picasso to reap the health benefits of art therapy. In fact, tapping into your creativity may be just the ticket to ease anxiety, express emotions, and stay on the right track in your recovery.

And don’t worry if you don’t have any previous art experience; even a couple of uneven strokes of colors can help you feel calm and confident.

What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapy, which has been around since the 1940s, has become an integral part of the counseling and support services in many addiction centers. The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as “the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development.”

By drawing, painting, and using other creative media like sculpture, you can increase self-awareness and express emotions (both conscious and unconscious) about your addiction and recovery -- and even the meaning of life.

In general, art therapy is usually guided – for example, you may be asked to draw what a craving looks like or to paint the first thing that comes to mind. Once you’re finished you may be prompted to think or talk about your creation. 

How Can Art Therapy Help Addiction?

Whether you choose pastels, watercolors, or a #2 pencil, art therapy alongside evidence-based addiction treatments, can help you:

• Increase self-awareness and self-esteem
• Express fears and emotions difficult to verbalize
• Communicate better about recovery/addiction experiences
• Process traumatic events
• Manage destructive behaviors
• Reduce stress and anxiety
• Gain greater comfort, freedom, and hope
• Heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually

Art Therapy at The Haven

Through holistic modalities like art therapy, clients at The Haven at Pismo use creative practices to explore grief, anger, or loss in a constructive way. To find out more about our many specialized treatments and customized holistic therapies, call today: 805-202-3440.