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What Are the Benefits of Art Therapy?

a person painting and experiencing the many benefits of art therapy

Art therapy is becoming a leading alternative therapy for addiction recovery, mental health, trauma healing, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, many people today lack the opportunity to express themselves creatively or the confidence to explore painting, drawing, or sculpting without extensive professional training.

However, art therapy requires no previous art training and gives people from all walks of life the opportunity to express, process, and understand their moods, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. There are many benefits of art therapy for addiction treatment and recovery. Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of art therapy? The art therapy program at A Better State may be right for you. Call us at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our holistic outpatient recovery programs and start art therapy today.

What Is Art Therapy for Addiction and Mental Health?

Clients meet with a certified art therapist for 60 to 90 minutes during art therapy sessions. Some sessions may be one-on-one, while others may bring together a group of clients struggling with similar issues. Many art therapists are practicing artists who bring their own experiences of art making, passion, and techniques along with their therapeutic training. During sessions, the therapist provides a client with materials and prompts to guide self-expression without judgment of skill, practice, or final product.

Through color, texture, and style, clients use various mediums to express their emotions, moods, memories, and sensations. For many people, expressing their feelings through art can relieve the pressure of knowing what to say in talk therapy. It can also reveal more profound thoughts and desires that are unconscious to the client. Common art therapy techniques include:

  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Collages
  • Digital Art
  • Painting
  • Coloring
  • Scrapbooking
  • Sculpting

These artistic practices can be relatively easy for clients to begin and stick with and practice at home without extensive supplies, studio space, or time. The more someone practices art therapy outside of their sessions, the more balanced their mood and mental health become. This can reduce addiction triggers and addictive behaviors.

Benefits of Art Therapy for Addiction and Mental Health

Art therapy helps clients tell new narratives about their pasts to process painful emotions, addictions, and mental health. Benefits of art therapy include:

  • Reducing addiction and triggers
  • Higher self-esteem and confidence
  • Ability to cope with physical pain or illness
  • Become more resilient to change
  • Better ability to regulate emotions
  • Relieving stress and raising stress tolerance
  • Holistic trauma processing
  • Lower anxiety levels

Common art therapy prompts include:

  • Expressing self-loathing thoughts through painting or drawing
  • Expressing challenging memories through photography or digital art
  • Expressing past trauma through sculpting or collage

While art therapy can help clients process their past and let go of harmful belief systems, artistic expression can also increase dopamine levels, promote calmness, and help reduce cravings for drugs or alcohol. Many people in art therapy develop an artistic practice for lifelong creative expression. Group art therapy can help improve communication, empathy, and community when working with others.

Learn More Benefits of Art Therapy for Addiction Recovery at A Better State

Art therapy can be a rewarding experience at any age. Working with an art therapist can promote healing, self-understanding, and connection with others for those living with addiction, mental health conditions, and their loved ones. If you or someone you love is looking for outpatient art therapy programs in New Hampshire, A Better State can help. Our partial hospitalization program (PHP), intensive outpatient program (IOP), and traditional outpatient programs include:

  • ​​Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Mindfulness meditation therapy
  • 12-step recovery
  • Anxiety treatment
  • Depression treatment
  • PTSD treatment

With various programs, A Better State is here to help you and your loved ones recover from addiction and mental health conditions. Our step-down programs help clients safely transition from rehab to home life. With a sober living partnership, we help place clients in suitable sober living homes for them. No matter where you are in recovery, we can help. Our staff is ready to answer your questions about the benefits of art therapy. Call us at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our art therapy programs for addiction and mental health.