Expressive Art Therapy


Expressive Art Therapy in Addiction Treatment

The arts have always been an avenue of expression for some people, and, for artists, there are various activities in which they are able to express ideas, emotion, and different perspectives regarding ordinary everyday things. Art helps artists get in touch with their emotions. Expressive art therapy in addiction treatment is also slowly getting the attention it deserves. Art therapy, unlike traditional art, puts emphasis on the creation process and not on the final product. It is believed that addicts can heal by doing creative activities because they can use their imagination and other forms of expression.

Expressive art therapy in addiction treatment encourages emotional and psychological healing through self-discovery. In art therapy, the addict and the therapist discuss the creation process and the meaning of what is eventually created. An art therapist can see deeper into the addict’s thoughts and feelings through analyzing the artwork. The most common activities used for expressive art therapy are:

• Music therapy
• Dance therapy
• Writing therapy
Drama therapy
• Creative art therapy

Art therapists firmly believe that through expressive art therapy in addiction treatment, the addict can tap his imagination and explore his or her body, mind, and emotions. Sharing their artwork is also beneficial for addicts within a treatment facility as this fosters growth and is beneficial to the well-being of the individual and the group.

There are certain things and feelings words cannot express, and this is the gap that expressive art therapy tries to bridge. Through engaging in creative and expressive activities, addicts are familiarized with emotions and thoughts they never knew they had. This revelation usually leads to complete recovery for addicts, or at least provides a perfect launching pad for them on their journey to sobriety.