Throughout history, art has been used in communication, conflict resolution, self-expression, and healing. “Art therapy” was coined as a term in the 1940s, when pioneers in the field of psychology discovered the benefits of using art in therapy with children and families. Since then, art therapy has been successfully used throughout a wide array of therapeutic environments. At Westwind Recovery®, we strongly believe in incorporating holistic therapies into our addiction and mental health treatment programs. One of the ways we accomplish this is with our art therapy program.

Art Therapy Ideas for Addiction Recovery

Self-expression is not only one of the most important ways to assert our own individual traits but a large part of how we connect with others. People suffering from addiction often struggle with self-expression because they have become out-of-touch with their feelings, and their communication skills have often become impaired. An art therapy program can help clients learn how to communicate effectively and reconnect with their feelings.

One does not have to be “artistic” to participate in art therapy, and it has proven to be beneficial for people of all ages. Whereas an art class focuses on teaching a particular technique, art therapy uses the creative process as a healing tool. Some studies have shown that just being exposed to art, in any form, can improve mental health. At Westwind Recovery®, our art therapy program can include activities that involve:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Working with clay
  • Creative writing
  • Making collages
  • Music

Through art therapy, clients can focus on their feelings, perceptions, and emotions. The process is especially valuable for those who have suffered abuse, neglect, or trauma and have difficulty verbalizing their feelings about those experiences. An art therapy program is not a primary treatment but is used as a supplement in coordination with other evidence-based therapies to address addiction and mental health conditions.

The Benefits of Art Therapy for Addiction Recovery

Art therapy sessions are led by a trained art therapist who offers clients a choice of activities, empowering them in the decision-making process. Through the creative process, the therapist and client can gain insight into the client’s repressed or unconscious thoughts and feelings. Other ways art therapy benefits those in recovery include:

  • Reducing anxiety and negative thinking
  • Building self-esteem
  • Relieving stress
  • Promoting self-awareness
  • Improving coping skills
  • Resolving emotional conflict
  • Improving social and communication skills

Owing to the fact that there is a strong connection between mental health and addiction, art therapy as part of an overall recovery treatment plan focuses on helping clients address the underlying feelings that might be contributing to their substance use disorder. Many people are reluctant to open up verbally to a therapist, and art therapy offers the opportunity for non-verbal communication. Overall, the benefits of art therapy are far-reaching, providing clients with skills that they can apply to everyday life and aid them in maintaining lasting recovery.

Call Westwind Recovery® for Addiction Treatment in LA

In the greater Los Angeles area, Westwind Recovery® offers private, luxury addiction treatment in resort-like accommodations. From our concierge program to our sober living houses, our services are unparalleled. We believe that the path to recovery can be an uplifting experience. The art therapy program at Westwind Recovery® is part of our overall approach to addiction treatment that aims to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Our treatment options include:

If you are ready to change your life by overcoming addiction and co-occurring mental health issues, start today by reaching out to Westwind Recovery® by connecting with us online.