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The Power of Art in Treatment

Art and music can be enjoyable activities, especially during the school years. However, even in adulthood, most people enjoy participating in at least one type of creative expression. This is why music and art therapy can be such attractive options for those seeking healing. Participating in this type of treatment can be a wonderful expressive outlet that benefits people of all ages.

Art therapy is a holistic type of therapy that allows an individual to openly express themselves. In recovery, this form of treatment can improve the negative effects of addiction or co-occurring mental health conditions. Discovering variations of art therapy, researching the advantages, and combining the power of art in an individual’s treatment plan can lead to an optimal healing experience.

What Is Art Therapy?

As stated by an article in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, art therapy is a non-pharmaceutical alternative therapy used as a holistic treatment opportunity to improve the effects of mental health conditions. Mental health disorders have been proven to cause a huge social and economic burden for healthcare systems and people worldwide.

Various forms of art therapy can be used to significantly reduce symptoms associated with psychiatric disorders. These therapies have been clinically proven to provide positive outcomes.

Some different types of art therapy include:

A More Holistic Approach

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are often linked with mental health conditions that are referred to as co-occurring mental illnesses. People commonly use illicit drugs, misuse prescription medications, or consume alcohol as a form of self-medication before being diagnosed. In other cases, an untreated SUD can lead someone to develop a mental health condition as a result of brain changes. Family genetics, peer pressure, and childhood abuse and neglect can play a part in causing addiction and co-occurring disorders as well.

While prescription medications may be the first choice to treat certain psychiatric disorders and relieve intense symptoms from SUDs, many psychotropic medications produce numerous side effects. As a result, many clinicians have leaned toward a more holistic approach to addressing the mental health needs of clients.

Instead of only considering an individual’s addiction, clinicians facilitate healing through an approach that considers a person’s mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Working with the mind, body, and spirit is a way to successfully address addiction and mental health disorders rather than just treating the presenting symptoms.

Benefits of Art Therapy

According to a research review published in the periodical Cureus, art therapy offers some degree of benefits for individuals in psychiatric rehabilitation. Art therapy allows an individual to open up and express themselves through nonverbal creativity. Learning new skills in treatment is always helpful, especially when venturing outside of one’s comfort zone. Creative therapies help people give voice to their emotions and thoughts. The therapies also help people develop new insights and solutions.

A few advantages of this therapy may include:

What Conditions Can This Complementary Therapy Treat?

According to the aforementioned study by Frontiers in Psychology, art therapy is a creative process that is predominantly used to help individuals communicate how they are feeling. Another benefit is that this type of therapy relieves the pressure on people to convey their literal thoughts. Art therapy allows a client to work alongside a certified mental health professional to express themselves without fear of judgment. Overall, creative therapy can support all individuals during the healing and recovery phase.

Art therapy has been clinically proven to treat:

Moving Forward With Guidance

Deciding to move forward with art therapy can be a fun and healthy complementary treatment for an individual in need of support. People may experience positive changes in their mental and physical health as well. When someone partakes in different types of art therapy options, it can open up a window for new opportunities. Another advantage is meeting others going through similar experiences and learning new strategies alongside them. People can enjoy the social aspect while gaining valuable professional guidance from a licensed art therapist.

Facilities such as Sage Recovery, a holistic recovery and wellness center in Austin, Texas, treat people with a variety of mental illnesses and addictions. At Sage Recovery, our compassionate, trauma-informed team has treatment options available to clients with SUD and various mental health conditions. We focus mainly on adolescent and adult care but also work with children and families of all ages. Our holistic and trauma-informed services can be combined into an individualized treatment plan. We offer intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) as well as inpatient programs. In any of these treatment models, we offer holistic beneficial services such as art therapy.

The effects of substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring mental illnesses can be overwhelming without additional support through professional treatment. Art therapy can serve as a non-pharmaceutical holistic treatment option for individuals facing challenges with certain health conditions. Our core curriculum, created from evidence-based and trauma-informed practices, includes exposure to a variety of holistic and individualized treatment approaches such as art therapy. In our treatment plans, we aim to mirror the unique complexity of each individual’s recovery situation. Our clinical team consists of all licensed master’s-level therapists with specializations in various areas of mental health and substance abuse. If you or a loved one feel you need professional help, call Sage Recovery at (512) 306-1394 for more information.