An art therapy program provides an alternative to talk-based therapy, such as individual or group sessions with your counselor. Sometimes, it’s a relief to express yourself by other means, such as art or poetry. These activities can be successfully integrated into holistic addiction therapy New Hampshire residents need to augment their emotional and mental recovery.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy uses creative techniques to help people express their emotions. Therapists look for psychological and emotional undertones in the work produced. A credentialed art therapy professional works with clients to decode the metaphors and symbols in their work. Ideally, this leads you to important insights into how the artist your feeling and acting. It helps you resolve deeper issues that you haven’t been able to put into words.

How It Works

art therapy program

Art therapy is based on the assumption that artistic self-expression has therapeutic value for those seeking a deeper understanding of themselves. Art therapists are trained to recognize how texture, color, and various art techniques can help reveal one’s innermost feelings, thoughts, and psychological state. The program combines psychotherapy and visual arts in a stand-alone treatment.

Types of Activities in an Art Therapy Program

If you don’t like painting, there are other alternatives that help you express your feelings. Examples of these activities include:

  • Poetry
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Music
  • Dancing
  • Acting
  • Drawing

SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Treatment describes how art therapy can be used in a group setting. Clients can express their feelings and thoughts without saying a word. For those with a history of abuse or other psychological issues, this form of treatment may be extremely helpful. For the most part, creating art doesn’t require talking. However, it provides another vehicle to convey ideas and fears. Basically, art therapy gives you the chance to explore and resolve issues you aren’t ready to talk about yet.

Art Therapy Techniques

Talking about the images during regular therapy sessions helps you get to the root causes of your addiction. There are three techniques used by art therapists to help you do this, including:

  • Gestalt methods: The therapist helps you determine how you’re currently feeling. The artwork may serve as an introduction to a more sensitive conversation, or you may be asked to use it to describe your thoughts at the time you produced the art.
  • Active imagination: This activity uses your artwork as a launching pad to let your mind roam in free associations. It often leads to introspection and a productive discussion about your emotions.
  • “Third-hand” approach: You’re in control of the artistic vision, but the therapist helps you complete the artwork.

Art therapy can be a very rewarding part of your substance abuse treatment. It gives you a way to cope with your feelings and get to the root of your addiction. Both art therapy and more mainstream methods help you develop introspection, which may lead to healthy ways to cope with stress and pressure.

Do you have problems expressing your emotions during regular conversations? If so, art therapy in a group setting can help you explore them in a  nonthreatening way. You can even gain insight into how other clients benefit from art therapy in their journey to recovery.

Learn More about Art Therapy and Addiction Treatment

Granite Recovery Centers has an art therapy program to help our guests work through the issues, feelings, and experiences that led to their addiction. You can communicate your thoughts outside of traditional individual or group therapy methods, which may leave you feeling refreshed or relaxed enough to open up to your counselors and peers during talk-focused therapy.

Contact us today at 855.712.7784 to find out how the journey to recovery begins, with art therapy and other tools to facilitate lifelong sobriety.