Wayside House treatment center offers a variety of holistic therapies and treatments throughout the course of their inpatient program. These therapies are intended to help women heal, grow, learn new communication and self-care skills and find meaningful methods of self-expression. Over the years, research has made it increasingly clear that effective drug treatment isn’t just about removing the addicted person from the using environment and getting them clean and sober. Too often, drug treatment alone does not result in long-term sobriety or a happy, healthy life. For true, long-lasting change to take place, it isn’t just the addiction that needs to be treated, it is the person. Rarely are drugs the only issue. Even if it started that way, the life of an addicted person becomes fraught with trauma, depression, anxiety and fear. Many women who turn to substances have already experienced trauma at some point in their lives, and often, mental illness and addiction go hand in hand. When issues such as trauma, depression, eating disorders and anger or abandonment issues go unaddressed, relapse is much more likely. This is why it is so important to address these things in treatment. Using a variety of therapies helps make the most of this relatively brief period of time. What Is Art Therapy? Art therapy may sound like play, and in some ways, it can be. The very act of working with art supplies and exploring creativity can indeed be a playful activity, but art therapy is at the same time serious work. It isn’t about producing artwork. It isn’t about developing painting or drawing skills. Art therapy is very much a therapeutic activity that produces results in the lives of the women who engage in it. Art therapy is practiced with a professional who is experienced in this type of therapy. Art therapy does involve the use of creative materials such as paints, pencils, collage items, paper, clay and other materials. Art therapy involves participants using these materials to create and explore in the context of the therapeutic environment. You do not need to “know how” to draw or paint. Sessions may involve the participant expressing themselves through a use of color, pattern, abstract or more literal drawings. Art therapy allows you to express yourself in a non-verbal way, this is what makes it so powerful. What Are Some Benefits To Art Therapy For Women? Talk therapy is an important part of treatment, but it can be a long, slow and difficult process. That is because it can take time for trust to build and because people aren’t always able to express some of their deepest feelings easily. This is especially the case when it comes to experiences with trauma. Many women who enter treatment have experienced trauma, either in their childhood or as an adult, often both. Other feelings associated with trauma, or as a result of their addiction may include guilt, shame, and anger. These are often difficult to articulate. The process of airing and working through these feelings can take time. Art therapy helps give an additional therapeutic outlet for some of these deep, powerful feelings and experiences. When used in conjunction with talk and other types of behavioral therapy, the results can be dramatic and powerful. How Does Art Therapy For Women Help Addiction Treatment? You may be wondering how this therapy fits into addiction treatment. First, it is important to restate that a person in treatment is more than just their drug or alcohol problem. They are a complex person with feelings, challenges, experiences with potential layers of defenses and denial. Anger, guilt, and shame are frequent barriers to getting honest and vulnerable in individual and group therapy. Art therapy helps women in treatment uncover, experience and process emotions in a non-confrontational manner that allows them to be themselves, express themselves and gain a deeper insight into their inner world. It also allows the therapist to learn more about the participant and get a better sense of what should be worked on with that individual. The use of art therapy can help accelerate the therapeutic process. The act of creating is healing. This is important. Many women arrive in treatment very broken emotionally and cognitively. Drug and alcohol use is damaging not just emotionally but also neurologically. Creativity, which is an integral part of our human nature, may be stunted after years of drug and alcohol use. Being creative fires up parts of the brain and helps the healing process happen. Creating art is good for self-esteem and opens up new avenues for self-expression. Art Therapy For Women At Wayside House Art Therapy is one of the many holistic and comprehensive treatments and therapies that are available at Wayside House. Wayside House is a recovery program for women that was specifically created to help women recover from addiction in a safe, supportive environment that understands the unique needs of women in addiction treatment. Find out more about our programs, call 800-655-0817 today.