Art has been has been implemented as a popular form of therapy since the early 1900s. It is also widely used as a form of therapy for recovering addicts and alcoholics in treatment centers
. Art therapy encourages the individual to confront their issues through creative expression, a safe, indirect and fun way. Since it is indirect and expressive it has become a very popular form of therapy as opposed to the confrontation through dialog of conscious remembrance.
What Is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is painting, writing creatively, drawing, making music, roll playing performances (usually catering to family dynamics), interpretive dance and any other form of creativity as an outlet for aggression, depression, complacently and any other mood debilitating disorder. Art therapy has been shown to help addicts or alcoholics in several ways throughout the recovery process.
People who suffer from addiction tend to run away from their feelings; it is understandably so that conventional therapy for a person in recovery is, in some cases, apprehended.
After engaging in art therapy a realization is brought to the attention to the person and the therapist when evaluating the final product. The realization is often unseen yet draws pieces together of the past and reasons why one feels the way they do since art can uncover the subconscious mind.
Types of Art Therapy
Creative writing helps calm ones head and focus on what they are writing. After the writing is finished it can be read to a group and/or their therapist. The writing can then be evaluated by looking for metaphors and analogies in the tones, themes, settings or what types of behavior the main character is engaging in. This can show a more seeded issue being held in the subconscious mind.
Role playing can also be a very helpful tactic. It is an interactive, safe, and traditionally done in a group therapy setting. One person is assigned as themselves and they use the other people in the group as people in their family.
They are put in situations that happened in the past and show through acting how they dealt with the situation. They can then express how they would deal with it differently now and what they would say to their family that they wouldn't feel comfortable actually saying to them outside of a role playing situation. Placing people in the group of what they would like their family to look like gives them a feeling of solace and hope and a visual of what their family dynamic can potentially become.