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What is Art Therapy For Addiction

Sometimes it can be challenging for someone with a drug or alcohol addiction to find words to express their emotions. That’s where art therapy can help. Art therapy uses expressive arts to help individuals with substance use disorders convey how they feel. It’s known for being extremely effective in the substance abuse recovery process and after rehab.

In this article, you’ll learn what to expect from art therapy and its specific benefits. 

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy uses painting, sketching, ceramics, and other art therapy techniques as a way for individuals to express themselves without words. It can also be a way for individuals to feel empowered, work through depression, and build new skills for coping with stressful situations. 

During an art therapy session in addiction treatment, a licensed art therapist who specializes in this specific type of therapy guides individuals in the creative process – sometimes the session will involve a specific prompt or message for art direction. Sessions can be in either group settings or individual.

There’s no prior experience needed for participating in art therapy for addiction recovery – only a willingness to create something using your hands.

Benefits of Art Therapy

The benefits of art therapy include for substance abuse patients:

  • Providing an outlet to process traumatic events and release difficult emotions
  • Reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Enhancing emotional awareness
  • Fostering a creative process of self-expression 

Building new tools for coping with stress during recovery and after recovery

What Can Art Therapy Address?

When combined with additional forms of therapy, such as CBT and DBT, art therapy can help treat the following:

  • Substance use disorders (drug abuse and alcohol abuse)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • ADHD
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Mood and personality disorders
  • Major depressive disorder and other depressive disorders
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicidal behaviors

Additional Addiction Therapy and Treatment Options

In addition to art therapy, there are several other therapies and treatments that can be utilized to help individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders and mental illness:

The above substance abuse therapies are customized based on the needs of each individual. 

Start Addiction Treatment Today at Malibu Detox

At Malibu Detox, our substance abuse treatments serve as a catalyst to help you overcome your addiction and reach the long-term sobriety you need. We accept most major and private insurance plans and work with you to minimize out-of-pocket expenses.

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