Art is an expression beyond the confines of language represented by words. Art is a language of its own, using the symbols of expression to communicate metaphor, emotion, transition, and meaning. One of the only static communications styles to be so dynamic, art can create movement without moving. A painting can encompass a lifetime, a sculpture can encompass transformation. What is put into art is transitory, which makes the modality of art therapy so important. Everything is changing in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. From one minute to the next, the brain is healing, the body is healing, and the soul is being rejuvenated. Art therapy is a way to move beyond traditional talking or packets and put that experience into different forms.
Though an art piece might be static, the process of making art is not. Art therapy might seem to symbolic to be realistic to some. However, there is importance in the symbology. For example, building up a sculpture with clay to represent pain, resentment, or trauma, then smashing that sculpture down into a blob is a transformative experience. Feelings, thoughts, emotions, judgments, pain, trauma, are all intangible. We feel them in many different ways as they manifest in our lives, but we can not simply grab anger by the handful, throw it across the room and pronounce it gone. With art therapy, the intangible becomes tangible, malleable, and useful.
Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is full of talking, processing, analyzing, and reflecting, all of which are important tools and methods. Art therapy is an opportunity to engage in a different kind of processing which doesn’t require as much brain power as it does soul power. Using two different sides of the brain during treatment is important to helping the brain grow strong and find more balance.
An art therapist and specified art therapy groups are not required to do art therapy. You can bring art therapy home with you through very simple routines:
Use coloring books
Buy art supplies and create a designated time to just create
Create gifts for people with crafting rather than buy new things
Lookup art therapy activities online, which can include a narration
Art therapy is becoming a more relied upon model of treatment for addiction recovery. We employ alternative and holistic treatment methods as part of our integrative approach to healing addiction in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Solutions believes that there is an answer to addiction. For more information, call 844-234-LIVE