From the article “A Colorful Approach to Addiction Recovery” written by Joshua Gordon


Everyone has a favorite song. Mine is “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes. I feel genuinely happy whenever I hear that song and I’m able to hum it or belt it out (when I’m alone, that is — I don’t like subjecting people to torture). While thinking of new approaches to consider for my next article, this song came up on my shuffle. As it filled my apartment with music, I wondered: could listening to certain music help people in recovery? I sprang my laptop open and started searching away. My suspicions were confirmed: Creative Arts Therapy is a form of healing that helps people with substance abuse problems recover through creating art. That sounds pretty awesome to me.

Creative Arts Therapy is holistic in nature and can prove extremely beneficial in one’s recovery and continuing on into long-term sobriety. Art Therapy is accessible to any age, race, gender, and nationality. Personally, I think this sounds pretty fantastic, but I don’t think that means this is a relatively “easy” process.

Since the age of cavemen painting on walls, people have used art to communicate their stories, their feelings, and their dreams. Creative Arts Therapy (CAT), or Expressive Arts Therapy, is a new approach to recovery from substance abuse. CAT first emerged in the 1940s when psychologists began to gain insight through drawings that their patients created. This was a logical development, an extension of Freud’s dream interpretation approach to psychotherapy. Originally, CAT was used only alongside talking therapy, but now it has become its own form of treatment. It is used with people suffering from substance abuse, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), HIV/AIDS, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. The benefits of CAT can extend to just about anyone. Art therapists may work in schools, hospitals, community centers, inpatient and outpatient facilities, hospice, and even in disaster relief situations.

Read the rest of the article here .

When Words Aren’t Enough: Art Therapy in Addiction Treatment
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