A powerfully transformative but sometimes overlooked tool in our quest for wellness is creative arts therapy. Many of us are more familiar with traditional talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step programs and support groups, but creative arts therapy can be used effectively in conjunction with any existing program and can help improve our overall results. Whether it is music therapy, songwriting, sound healing, playwriting, visual arts, dance or movement, any kind of creative expression provides wonderful mental, emotional, physical and spiritual benefits that help us in our recovery.
When we engage ourselves creatively, we give ourselves an effective outlet to express ourselves, release our emotions and shift our energy positively. Creative expression is therapeutic and soothing. We find ourselves inspired and motivated. Pent-up emotions are allowed to come to the surface. We’re able to process difficult thoughts, feelings, fears and memories through our creativity, and this brings us feelings of well-being and comfort. Our productivity makes us feel satisfied and fulfilled. We can feel a renewed sense of purpose in finding our natural talents and passions.
Talk therapy can be intimidating, even uncomfortable, especially when we’re trying it for the first time. Delving into difficult subject matter can bring up very painful emotions. Arts therapy allows us to do this important emotional work but with the added benefit of creative expression, which can be disarming and comforting, not to mention fun and invigorating. We can find ourselves actually looking forward to therapy!
The goal with any kind of therapy is to dig deep and get to the root of our issues – our unhealed trauma, our unresolved fears and pain. When we’re working with creative arts, we can use our artistic medium of choice, whatever it is, to help us with that process. For example, you can try using a writing prompt and see where it leads:
- When do I remember first feeling afraid?
- When was my first experience with addiction?
- When do I first remember feeling depressed or anxious?
- What will it take for me to be happy?
- What kind of life do I want to live?
Writing prompts give us a question to try and answer as fully as we can. We can take our time to relax and free-write, without having any expectations of perfection or even cohesiveness. Don’t be unafraid to let your mind wander and write down anything that comes to mind. The expression and release of long-buried thoughts and feelings helps us to process them and make sense of them. We gain more clarity and understanding. We’re better able to communicate our feelings and open up to people, especially the therapists and other supportive people who can help us.
Through years of experience working with art and music therapy, we know how powerfully beneficial they are in healing and relapse prevention. Call Enlightened Solutions today: (833) 801-LIVE.