W. Somerset Maugham once said that, “Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul”. Recovery is, if nothing more, an adventure of the soul. Taking off on the exploration of a lifetime is what treatment is like- discovering hidden depths and wonders along the way. Art therapy is a healing modality which helps express that adventure in a creative way.
Art therapy can be very pleasing as well as very soothing. During an art therapy session, patients can experience feelings of joy as well as feelings of relaxation. Being able to play and create stimulates the dopamine production in the brain, sending healthy signals of pleasure throughout. In addition, the repetitious behavior of brush strokes, movements, working with clay, or other mediums can be very relaxing. Relaxation can stimulate the opioid receptors in the brain, helping the body to relax and reduce pain.
Art is a concentration and a focus. When people are given space to create and express themselves authentically, they fall into a state of meditation. Art can be performance, but most often art therapy is not drama therapy or performance therapy. Instead, it is a quiet time to focus on the activity at hand. Anxiety includes a lot of scattered and rapid thinking that is difficult to focus. Art makes time for that, allowing someone with anxiety to experience what it feels like to be focused on one activity which brings them joy.
Using art as a form of expression can be helpful during what is otherwise very clinical treatment. Instead of having to talk, analyze, and process, art therapy gives people the chance to just express and create. Having a few moments of normalcy and privacy helps people to feel more human and like themselves. With art, there is no need to impress or please anyone. People are free to make whatever they want and proclaim it as art. Often this takes a lot of emotional pressure off, allowing people to feel as though they can express whatever they want. Usually this translates back into clinical treatment by helping with emotional regulation and more.
Enlightened Solutions creates a treatment program that helps heal the mind, heart, body, and spirit with traditional treatment methods, 12 step inspiration, creative modalities, and holistic methods. For information on our partial care programs, call us today at 833-801-5483.
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