Music and art therapy are included in many addiction treatment programs as complementary and alternative forms of treatment. Many recovering addicts find that they respond more favorably to this approach to therapy than they do to other methods. Creative arts therapy in addiction treatment is used to help a person explore their feelings, behaviors, and thoughts.  It also helps them harness their self-awareness by encouraging reflection and creativity.  

Furthermore, the creative process can reveal a person’s underlying emotional processes that contribute to their substance abuse. This discovery can go a long way in keeping the individual from making that same mistake in the future. 

Addicts are Rediscovering Themselves with Art Therapy

During art therapy, a therapist works with patients to help them discover, or rediscover themselves using various forms of visual arts such as:

  • Sketching
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Coloring
  • Collaging

Patients are encouraged to paint or draw specific incidents related to their experience with addiction.  Also, they can make an art journal or engage in stress-relief painting.

Other benefits of art therapy are proven to help a person regain their sense of self-worth, and many people discover a talent they were not aware they possessed. All in all, art is an excellent tool for taking a person’s mind off of whatever is stressing them. Being engaged in a creative activity is similar to meditation.  Also, creative arts therapy in addiction treatment is beneficial to helping a person reconnect with the positive aspects of having a hobby.  

Benefits of Self-Expression Through Music

Music therapy began in the 1970s as an alternative therapy for treating people with mental health issues.  Since then, this approach to therapy has consistently shown positive results for the individual who did not respond well to other forms of treatment.  

As a creative form of self-expression, music allows a person to communicate their feelings or emotions in a non-verbal manner. Unfortunately, many long-time addicts have lost their ability to communicate effectively with others. However, with music, these individuals are opening up and finding their voice again.

Some of the other benefits of music therapy include:

  • Increases attention and concentration.
  • Enhances mindfulness and relaxation.
  • Empowers a person through success in learning a new skill.
  • Improves self-awareness.
  • Encourages positivity in coping skills and problem-solving strategies.
  • Allows a person to examine and express emotions.
  • Helps a person improve interpersonal skills.

Teenagers are more receptive to music therapy than adults. However, any age group will benefit from this evidence-based therapy.

Some of the activities a person can participate in during music therapy include:

  • Music games
  • Listening to music
  • Discussing music
  • Playing an instrument
  • Songwriting
  • Singing
  • Improvising
  • Analyzing lyrics

When patients join in these groups, they often form bands and give performances at the facility for the other patients and staff.  Rediscovering an old hobby such as music can be a huge milestone for a recovering addict. Or, if this is their first experience with playing an instrument or singing, they may discover a hidden talent that they can explore after leaving treatment.

Creative Arts Therapy in Addiction Treatment at Awakenings Rehabilitation

At Awakenings Rehabilitation, our music and art therapy program is only a part of our comprehensive treatment plan.  Overall, our approach to treatment is designed to address the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of addiction. Music and art are excellent conduits for allowing these individuals to let their inner feelings flow outward.  

If you would like more information about creative arts therapy in addiction treatment, please contact us at Awakenings today.  We are also available to help you begin a recovery plan for yourself or a loved one.

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