Healing Addiction Through Creativity
In the 1940s psychiatrists and psychoanalysts began to recognise the therapeutic value of art as both a creative outlet and a significantly useful means of conveying states of mind. This led to artists being invited directly to work with patients in hospitals and other clinical establishments.
Art is a channel of self-expression that can prove to be extremely useful for people suffering from addiction, especially for those who struggle to communicate in other ways in group therapy or private therapy sessions. Art can help bring about feelings of self-confidence and worth simultaneously providing patients with ways to understand and cope with their addiction.
An art group is a great way for a person to explore aspects of their life that they might not be able to explain in a conventional way. What’s more, when done in a group setting, using art alongside therapy can also help people going through addiction treatment to draw closer and better understand each other’s experiences.
Art is for everyone and it is an excellent way of promoting self-esteem, but it may be of particular use for people who feel distanced from their feelings or who find it too upsetting to talk about painful experiences.
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How Art Group Works in Treating Addiction
Creating something visual is useful for patients to express and process abstract struggles and emotions. The artwork involves accessing the ‘creative’ right side of the brain, expressing fears and anxieties onto a blank canvas, and then analysing it through a therapy session with a qualified addiction therapist.
Art groups can achieve different effects for different people. It can be used for counselling, healing, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation. Broadly though, it can be used as a way to understand one’s inner self on a deeper level.
The carefully thought-out exercises offer patients a new means of expression, unbound by language in which the unconscious is brought forward, enabling new insights as well as a sense of relaxation and achievement.
You can see further works from our patients on the Art Group’s Facebook Page.
“Drawing and painting is the direct and purest translation of my emotion”
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