Art therapy is a therapeutic approach that enables individuals to explore their thoughts, behaviours and experiences through creativity. Conducted either in a group or one-on-one, it involves the creation of art as a form of self-expression. Many people, when introduced to the idea of art therapy, worry about their lack of artistic skills, but clients do not need to be able to paint or draw in order to participate. The value of the art created lies not in how it looks to others, but in what it represents to the client.
How and why is art therapy used in addiction treatment programs?
Therapy – either individual or group – can be difficult for some people. It is not easy to talk about private thoughts or painful experiences, particularly in the beginning. During art therapy sessions, clients are encouraged to create drawings, paintings or other works of art that reflect how they feel or what they’ve experienced. Regardless of their artistic ability, clients usually find the process relaxing, as it enables them concentrate on a particular activity without being overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts.
A great benefit of art therapy is that it gives clients a safe way to explore and release strong emotions. They are encouraged to take chances in their art, and to think creatively in ways that they may be unaccustomed to. Creating art based on emotions and experiences can be a remarkably cathartic process.
Using art therapy in conjunction with other therapy methods
At Addiction Rehab Toronto, art therapy is not used in isolation, but as an integral part of the individual’s complete treatment program. In many cases, the art created serves as a launchpad for discussions. A member of the client’s therapy team will guide the client through a safe, productive verbal exploration of the art and what it represents.
This has its benefits in group therapy settings as well. Participants are able to talk about their creations in a safe, supportive environment, finding comfort in thoughts and feelings they have in common with others, and gaining insights from the different modes of expression. At the same time, they can build relationships and develop problem-solving and team-building skills.
One of the reasons these drugs are so dangerous is that they are chemically made in illegal laboratories that do not follow any health or safety standards. Nor is there any consistent formula for the manufacture of the drugs. There are many unscrupulous drug makers who mix the drugs with cheaper substances that may be poisonous. Users have no real way of knowing exactly what they are taking or what the effects will be.
As with most drugs, users have to take club/party drugs in ever-increasing amounts in order to achieve the desired effects. Club/party drug addiction is particularly harmful because many of these drugs, even when taken in small doses, can alter the chemistry of the user’s brain by triggering a higher-than-normal level of serotonin. This can have some far-reaching long-term consequences.