There may not be a direct link between creativity and substance abuse disorder, but there certainly is an indirect one. Individuals who suffer from addiction or alcoholism tend to process information at higher speeds than those who have not struggled with any substance abuse problems during their lifespan. This overwhelming need to process information quickly can often make individuals more susceptible to substance abuse on a search to find ways to cope with the accumulating mental feedback. This subtle correlation between high creativity levels and those with substance abuse disorders shows just how effective art and music therapy could potentially be for those in recovery. It isn’t unusual for some patients to not respond as well to mainstream methods, and both art and music therapy can give these patients an avenue to success that is more accommodating to their interests.
Many inpatient and outpatient rehab centers are starting to offer art and music therapy along with their traditional behavioral therapy, case management, and medication for higher success rates. These forms of therapy can both be done in either a group or individual setting, whichever one proves to be more suitable for the individual patient. Sometimes incorporating both forms into their recovery program can benefit them even more so in the long run.
What Exactly Happens in Art and Music Therapy Sessions?
It is exceedingly common for one of the underlying triggers of addiction being traumatic events in someone’s past. Since verbalizing these experiences can be quite painful, self-medicating may be one of the only ways that they’ve found to temporarily cope. Expressing emotions through artistic outlets such as painting and drawing can help the patient communicate their emotions surrounding the event or events in a less traumatizing way for them. Even if the expression isn’t verbal, they are still given an outlet to display important emotions that may have been contributing to their substance abuse in the past.
During a music therapy session, patients are asked to either listen to a musical piece, or to actively participate in performing a piece by using an instrument or singing. Musical therapy has proven to be successful in helping clients develop communication skills that may have previously been absent or lacking beforehand. Once these communication skills are more developed, the client is able to express their emotions in a much more effectual manner. Doing this can help tackle many of the issues that were leading them to the path of alcoholism or addiction in the first place.
Not everyone responds successfully to traditional treatment methods, and there is nothing wrong with that. Now that rehabilitation centers are introducing art and music therapies into their recovery programs, patients can be offered more personalized approaches during their recovery process. Contact us at 800-411-8019 to see if our facility’s alternative treatment techniques are a good fit for you and your loved one today.