Art Therapy for AddictionCamila Archuleta
Art therapy is a useful tool utilized by many substance abuse treatment centers, including Icarus Behavioral Health, in order to assist with many facets of recovery from addiction.
The subjective nature of art therapy enables patients to express themselves in a plethora of different ways in order to help them cope with undesirable feelings by processing them in non-traditional ways.
Icarus Behavioral Health utilizes art therapy techniques for their well-studied benefits in helping with the substance abuse recovery process.
What is Art Therapy
According to a paper published on the National Library of Medicine website, “Art therapy, is defined by the British Association of Art Therapists as ‘a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication… The overall goal of its practitioners is to enable clients to change and grow on a personal level through the use of artistic materials in a safe and convenient environment.’”
By enhancing the ways in which a patient can express themselves, art therapy serves as a powerful tool to combat drug and alcohol addiction. Art therapists can apply art therapy techniques to allow patients to unwind and relax while at the same time making significant strides towards recovery.
The Power of Expressive Therapy Methods
There seems to be incredible benefits for a patient’s mental health when they are able to create art to express themselves. Many times, patients do not know how to properly express themselves in a purely verbal way, and that is where expressive therapy methods such as art therapy become beneficial.
Painful emotions that play a huge role in self-esteem are hard to convey through language, so utilizing expressive therapy methods can be a helpful alternative.
By applying this experiential therapy, in conjunction with talk therapy and other recovery services, Icarus Behavioral Health has been able to help provide the numerous benefits of therapy to patients suffering from addiction that comes from not only the Albuquerque, New Mexico area but around the nation.
The Role of Art in Trauma Therapy
Art therapy has been found to help with those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by allowing patients to revisit traumatic incidents in parts of their memory not associated with verbal communication.
Another study on the National Library of Medicine website concluded that “Art therapy in conjunction with CPT [cognitive processing therapy] was found to improve trauma processing and veterans considered it to be an important part of their treatment as it provided healthy distancing, enhanced trauma recall, and increased access to emotions.”
This subjective review makes it clear that art therapy complements other forms of therapy in order to help those with severe trauma begin their road to recovery.
Many patients with substance abuse disorders suffer from trauma as well, which is one of the reasons that Icarus Behavioral Health battles substance abuse problems at their root in trauma.
The Different Forms of Art Therapy
There are many different types of art therapy that can be applied to a multitude of mental illness and substance abuse symptoms.
According to another article on the National Library of Medicine website, “Standardized applications of art therapy in palliative care patients are not specific, and techniques are customizable to the ever-changing life of the patient.”
So, according to this paper, there are no rigid guidelines when it comes to art therapy. It is completely subjective, and the main purpose is to allow the patient to non-verbally express themselves.
The same article goes on to say, “The use of different artistic media as a therapeutic tool offers patients an outlet for coping with physical, existential, emotional, and spiritual conflicts associated with their serious illness.”
Icarus Behavioral Health understands that artistic expression in a therapeutic setting offers immense benefits, which is why the apply these practices to many of their programs.
What Happens During Art Therapy Work
To understand what is to be expected during art therapy work, one must understand the importance of expression.
Many times, it can be hard to convey emotions verbally, and when this becomes the issue, art can be an extremely powerful outlet for expression. The constraints of language do not apply to artistic expression, so a person can unload what might be leading them back to their addictive ways through art.
To begin the recovery journey, it is important to air out all the issues stifling progression in one’s life. This is where creative expression helps tremendously.
Icarus Behavioral Health’s immense understanding of the importance of artistic expression in unloading negative emotions makes them a premier choice when considering addiction treatment.
Effective Types of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Dual diagnosis refers to the co-occurring of addiction disorder with another mental health disorder.
The importance of treating both of these issues simultaneously is that if one is left untreated, the other will make a resurgence just about every time.
According to another study found on the National Library of Medicine website, “All these treatments can be provided by a single clinician trained in both approaches or by a team of specialists. For example, alcoholism therapy is administered individually or in a group setting by one or more alcoholism counselors, whereas psychiatric treatment (including counseling and medication management) is administered by a psychiatrist. The main requirement for a successful outcome is that the treatments be coordinated.”
Icarus Behavioral Health offers dual diagnosis treatment with this important factor at the forefront of its modality. Coordination of treatments ensures the best possible outcomes and will lead a person down the most effective path of addiction recovery.
How is Art Therapy Used in Addiction
It is understood that expressing emotions plays an immense role in bettering one’s mental health. With this in mind, it becomes important to find outlets of expression for people with substance use disorders so that they may improve their mental health and begin the recovery process.
According to yet another study published on the National Library of Medicine website, “Main assumptions underlying art therapy are that the patient will be able to express him/herself through a non-verbal, imaginative, and creative exercise. Art therapy includes an array of activities, including incident drawings (i.e., a drawing of an incident that occurred while using substances), drawing/painting emotions, stress painting (i.e., painting during times of anxiety and/or stress in order to relieve feelings of stress), creating an art journal, and creating sculptures.”
Icarus Behavioral Health utilizes the empirically studied and proven to work modalities such as art therapy, in conjunction with many other modalities, to provide the best chance for a person with a substance use disorder to recover.
Why Choose Art Therapy in New Mexico
It becomes extremely apparent that Icarus Behavioral Health is a leader, especially in the Albuquerque area, in addiction treatment. Through their utilization of clinically proven-to-work treatments like art therapy, they are an industry leader when it comes to addiction medicine.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, calling Icarus Behavioral Health can be the first step towards recovery.
Art therapy is one of the many different modalities that are proven to work through many studies conducted nationwide.
Call Icarus Behavioral Health’s admissions department today with any questions you may have regarding their program. Recovery is possible for anyone struggling, so reach out today!