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How the Expressive Arts Can Help with Your Recovery

Author: Dominica Applegate  Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2017

When you’re in recovery, sometimes it can be tough contending with cravings, temptations, and just facing life clean and sober. Good news is that there are some effective strategies and techniques to assist those in recovery to live the kind of life they want to live. There’s not necessarily one method alone that helps those in recovery succeed, but rather there are a variety of approaches used together to ensure more efficiency.

Expressive Arts Therapy

One approach that has gained popularity these days is expressive art therapy. This is a method that is designed to help individuals undergoing rehabilitation identify with and develop the ability to express their feelings about any trauma or abuse they have experienced in their lives. After all, many people in recovery have had past issues that have caused them to repress and stuff emotions, which can oftentimes keep them from being able to feel and express their emotions.

Utilizing arts like dance, art, music, and drama, you can explore your inner emotional world, express it creatively, and oftentimes experience meaningful insights, direction, and emotional relief.

Here are some of the ways that expressive arts can help you in your recovery process:

1. Express deep seated emotions

One of the problems that many addicts struggle with is how to express some of the emotions that are hidden deep inside them. They do not feel like discussing their personal experiences and expressing difficult feelings. Art therapy can help bring out some of the memories that they have suppressed inside through the years. This can help you to come out of denial or hiding some of the things that may be leading to your alcoholism or addiction. Thus, you end up being more open and ready to discuss such issues, which can lead to an enhanced recovery process. Some of the arts that can be used include drawings or paintings, which help you express those tough emotions when you cannot express verbally.

2. Reconnect the body and mind

For proper rehabilitation and emotional freedom to occur, the body and mind must be reconnected. If you’re in recovery, you’ll tend to face some negative feelings and thoughts that can lead to stress or make you feel uncomfortable. By abusing substances, you feel that you escape such bad experiences, but all you’re really doing is disconnecting from your true self. You’re disconnecting the mind from the body. Expressive arts can assist in reversing this process and help you to be able to manifest your thoughts and feelings through artistic means. This art form can be music, dancing, painting, drama, drumming, and more to help your internal feelings flow to the physical expression more directly.

3. High level adaptability and flexibility

There are many types of expressive arts and each individual can express themselves in a different manner depending on individual experiences. There are no right or wrong ways to express yourself. The arts act as a way by which you can express yourself in a more flexible and open manner. Get in touch with your inner feelings and let them out in creative and artistic ways.

Regardless of the way the expression is achieved, expressive arts help in facilitating inner healing and emotional freedom, which is something we all desire. Take some time to research the expressive arts and feel free to take a season and try out various modalities. You may find that you really love a certain art and at the very least, get to experience something new, fun, and meet new people, which can be super beneficial for continued success in recovery.

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