Unconventional approaches to mental health and substance use disorder treatment can lead to positive outcomes. Many of those who struggle with these conditions benefit from holistic treatment methods. Programs involving art therapy, equine therapy, or even adventure therapy offer an outlet for stress and challenging emotions. As a result, patients can find themselves learning the coping mechanisms they need for a healthier life without quite knowing that the lesson is there at all.
Art therapy, in particular, allows patients to better connect with their creativity and emotions regarding depression and anxiety. You don’t have to be an artist to benefit from this therapy; instead, you just have to have an open mind.
Art therapy is one of many experiential therapies available to those struggling with substance use disorders and other mental health conditions at Virtues Behavioral Health. If you want to learn more about art therapy in Los Angeles and California, you can call our team 855.579.8599. A Virtues Behavioral Health representative can help you access the care you need.
What Is Art Therapy?
The term art therapy often conjures ideas of painting, drawing, or crafting. While these activities can play a part in mental health art therapy, they do not encompass the practice.
Instead, art therapy is seen as the use of an individual’s creativity to address not only mental health conditions like depression and anxiety but also detractors to an individual’s self-worth. This therapy encourages self-expression and stress management, allowing patients to better ask for help regarding their feelings and condition.
There are several different types of art therapy that might be incorporated into an addiction treatment plan. These include:
- Dance therapy
- Drama therapy
- Expressive therapy
- Music therapy
- Writing therapy
These programs aim to use a person’s innate creativity, honed or otherwise, to help that person better understand themselves. In turn, patients are not encouraged to become better at that specific creative outlet. Rather, they’re encouraged to use their chosen outlet to express themselves and learn coping mechanisms that can help them endure mental health challenges in the future.
Art therapy does not strive to fix a person’s mental health condition. Rather, art therapy provides patients with an opportunity to express themselves and to learn more about how they can manage symptoms of mental health issues in the future.
Art Therapy and Anxiety
When you suffer from anxiety, your attacks and worries can feel impossible to control. However, anxiety often flares up in response to external triggers. Art therapy can help patients identify their anxiety triggers and address them before their anxiety gets out of hand. Even if their anxiety does spiral, art therapy can give a patient the tools they need to avoid turning to drugs or alcohol to cope.
Art Therapy and Depression
Depression roots itself in a chemical imbalance in the brain. Individuals suffering from depression may have a harder time producing the dopamine or serotonin they need to monitor their moods.
While art therapy won’t treat this neurochemical imbalance, it can help patients understand their depressive triggers. Therapists can work with patients to determine what habits contribute to a depressive episode and what new behaviors can make an episode easier to handle. What’s more, art gives patients a healthy outlet for the negative emotions they may be experiencing, ensuring that they remain safe throughout the lowest of their lows.
Virtues Behavioral Health’s Art Therapy Program in California
Art therapy approaches your treatment needs from an unconventional perspective. When you can embrace your creativity and express yourself, you give yourself more opportunities to grow as a person.
Don’t wait to get started if you want to pursue art therapy treatments for a substance use disorder. You can call 855.579.8599 or use our online form to discuss local programs with the team at Virtues Behavioral Health.