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Art Therapy for Addiction in New York

Whether you’re in the early stages of recovery or years into your journey, art therapy is an effective way to ease stress, express emotions, and develop the skills needed for lifelong recovery.
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According to the New York State Department of Health, more than 1.9 million New Yorkers suffer from substance abuse. The boroughs of New York City with the most overdose deaths include the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Many New Yorkers are turning to creative forms of treatment, such as New York art therapy for addiction, to treat their substance abuse disorders. When most people think of drug and alcohol treatment, they think of Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meetings or Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While these effectively treat substances, art therapy is a popular treatment as it encourages creativity and helps individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms. It’s also relatively unconventional and thus sparks interest in recovering addicts. 

There’s no doubt that art is fun and relaxing, but what’s the science behind it? Studies show that art activates the brain’s reward center. When you’re creating art, you have numerous decisions to make. For example, what color should you paint the dress? Or, what style of paint should you use? The activation of the brain’s reward center ultimately makes you feel good and subsequently helps treat addictive behaviors. Not only that, but evidence shows art helps lower stress, which is common amongst recovering addicts (especially those with concurrent conditions).

Understanding Art Therapy Paintings

What Exactly Is Art Therapy?

New York art therapy for addiction consists of psychotherapeutic techniques and the application of human creative skills. No two art therapy sessions are the same. Individuals may create ceramics one day and watercolor paintings the next. Some recovering addicts may choose to focus on a specific niche, such as metalwork or sand art. On the other hand, some people prefer to diversify their experience with various types of art. Participants in a substance abuse treatment program may create the following:

  • Graphic design
  • Sand art
  • Metalwork
  • Pottery
  • Sculptures
  • Mosaics
  • Floral decorations
  • Tapestry
  • Paintings

Treatment programs may offer individual and group art therapy programs. Licensed therapists facilitate the sessions. Everyone is welcome! You play music and listen to your favorite tunes while working or conversing with your peers. The artwork belongs to you, and you can either keep it for yourself or gift it to friends and family. 

The Advantages Of Art Therapy

It’s not uncommon for people to lose confidence after struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Fortunately, various therapies enable recovering addicts to rediscover their purpose and develop a positive self-image. Art therapy is an effective way for individuals to cope healthily with negative emotions and manage triggers and temptations. When you participate in art therapy, you’ll gain skills that you can use for the rest of your life. If you ever feel overwhelmed with stress, you can turn to art instead of using drugs and alcohol to numb your feelings. Best of all, art therapy doesn’t require any prior experience, and we’ll never judge you on your artistic abilities! We aim for everyone to feel comfortable in our art therapy programs, allowing them to excel and gain a greater appreciation of art.

The advantages of art therapy include, but are not limited to:

  • Understand your emotions: Addicts may experience conflicting emotions during recovery, especially if they suffer from concurrent conditions. Art therapy helps you understand your feelings and positively express them.
  • Express your artistic side: No matter your experience level, everyone has a creative side to them. Those who participate in art therapy can leverage their creativity to build lifelong skills.
  • Build resilience: Art therapy helps you realize your strength and potential. You’ll understand and recognize your potential as you create beautiful art pieces.
  • Gain confidence: Who doesn’t like to show off their masterpieces? Even if you don’t consider yourself artistic, you’ll be surprised at what you can create!
  • Ease anxiety: Art therapy is an excellent way to relieve the stress that usually accompanies substance abuse disorder, whether you’re painting or sculpting. Many recovering addicts find that art is an effective coping mechanism that helps them maintain lifelong sobriety. 

How Art Therapy Helps With Addiction

Art allows us to express ourselves and develop a sense of purpose. It also helps your motivation as you realize your self-worth and capabilities. Moreover, creating art is calming and helps you focus on the masterpiece in your hands. Your negative emotions will slowly fade away as you express your creativity. Not only that, but individuals can discuss their thoughts, recovery progress, and challenges with the therapist while they create their artwork. Therapists facilitate the sessions but give the well-deserved independence to work freely. You’ll also develop lifelong skills and develop a stronger appreciation for art. 

Art Therapy’s Role In Substance Abuse Treatment

There’s no doubt that art therapy plays a highly beneficial role in a substance abuse treatment program. However, art therapy is a facet of a substance abuse treatment program, and recovering addicts often participate in various therapies. Other popular therapy options include music, equine, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Furthermore, individuals participate in a blend of one-on-one and group therapy sessions, where they can develop healthy coping mechanisms and build a support system. Here at United Recovery Project, we use evidence-based techniques to offer best-in-class substance abuse therapy in New York. All clients receive a tailored treatment plan that helps fuel their long-term success. For instance, an individual may have art therapy sessions in the morning, motivation therapy in the afternoon, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) during the evening. Our team will help you find the therapies that work best for you, and we understand there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to drug and alcohol addiction treatment!

Is Art Therapy Right For You?

Are you looking for a substance abuse treatment program with art therapy? United Recovery Project offers a comprehensive art therapy program in our luxury rehabilitation center in Florida. All clients meet with our licensed therapists to create a personalized treatment that best suits their recovery needs.

Contact us today 833.525.0166

to learn more about our expansive substance abuse therapy options!