Recovery from both addiction and eating disorders will inevitably come with a fair share of emotions. For someone who is used to dealing with emotions in a negative way, it can be hard navigate healthy ways of dealing with emotions at first. And, communicating about these issues throughout group or individualized therapy sessions may not be the favored method of expression for some. So, different methods can be utilized to both express and release these emotions in a positive, healthy way. There are a number of different supportive therapies an individual can utilize throughout treatment, but one creative way is art therapy.
Benefits of Art Therapy
Individuals in treatment for both substance abuse and eating disorders can benefit greatly from art therapy sessions. That’s because they involve self-reflection, which is an important part of treatment. Being able to reflect on the self can put recovery into perspective, help to establish goals, and encourage acceptance. Other benefits of art therapy during treatment may include:
- A peaceful way to resolve inner conflicts
- Increasing self-esteem
- Encouraging creative outlets
- Stress and anxiety reduction
- Great way to practice social skills and develop new relationships
Using Art Therapy as a way to Address Trauma
Undoubtedly, art therapy’s best benefit is its ability to help people express and communicate in a way which traditional therapy may not allow. Many who have developed self-harming behaviors such as eating disorders or substance abuse have done so as a result of traumatic experiences. Self-medicating with substances or even trying to gain control by utilizing unhealthy eating patterns can both be ways for individuals who have dealt with trauma to handle emotions which stem from it. So, when these individuals can no longer practice these self-harming behaviors as a way to deal with trauma, art therapy can be used as an alternative. Unlike traditional therapies, art therapy doesn’t require an individual to directly confront their traumatic experiences but to express feelings resulting from trauma in a creative way. This allows individuals to cope with their trauma in a way they can control.
Mediums Used for Art Therapy at The Willow Place for Women
Here at The Willow Place for Women, we provide participants with art therapy sessions access to a number of 2 and 3-dimensional supplies. While each session may have a different intent, participants have the opportunity to utilize a number of mediums. Some specific mediums used in art therapy sessions may include:
- Making collages
- Crafting, such as making a beaded necklace or paper mache mask
Dealing with Unhealthy Emotions with Art Therapy
All in all, using art therapy throughout treatment can help individuals deal with unhealthy emotions. Since it’s important to develop ways to deal with emotions which may lead to relapse once treatment concludes, it’s also important to establish healthy ways of reducing the chance of relapse. Art therapy can be this outlet for those who it benefits.
If you’re ready to see who you can be without your addiction or eating disorder, we’re here to help support, encourage, and motivate your journey! Plus, provide you with the opportunities you need to discover your new life, like incorporating art therapy! Contact us today to find out more about our women’s daytime treatment or sober living program!