Art Therapy

At BlueSkies we use Art Therapy as a form of expression and a way of connecting with emotions and feelings. Drug addiction and Alcoholism can block an individual’s ability to connect with their creative side and express pent-up feelings. Art Therapy provides a safe and useful tool for doing this, at the same time it is a great way to relax and can be very enjoyable also.

Many individuals who suffer from addiction and mood disorders struggle to put in to words what they are feeling; Art therapy provides a useful way of communicating these feelings through the use of a different medium. It also fosters the belief that there are safe ways of expressing emotions, without the need to turn to drink or drugs.

How We Use Art Therapy to Treat Addiction

At BlueSkies we use a number of proven therapeutic techniques and modalities to assist our clients in their recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Addiction manifests in many different forms, and as such there is not a one size fits all solution. We therefore provide a program that incorporates a different number of therapies to account for the different personalities and issues presented.

Most individual that come to our clinic have used drugs, alcohol and/or compulsive behaviours to escape their thoughts and feelings. It is imperative that our clients learn to express and deal with these feelings in a different way. Their emotional pain blocker has been removed; at times, their feelings will seem overwhelming. Art therapy offers a way of communication that is different to talking and writing therapies. Some individuals will respond very well to this method. As well as offering a way of expressing emotions, Art Therapy also taps into the individual’s creativity, a gift that has often been suppressed by addiction. Clients are encouraged to express their hopes and dreams through the use of Art materials. Seeing it manifest into something tangible, assists in the process of coming to believe that they can achieve anything they put their mind to.

Types of Art Therapy

Art therapy is a structured treatment, with specific therapeutic goals. There are three main methodologies in achieving this:

Gestalt methods:

The Gestalt method uses a number of techniques in which the individual uses Art to express what they are feeling inside. This then provides a useful starting point for discussion where the individual is encouraged to go deeper. The discussion of the art piece produced provides space for exploration and reflection.

Third Hand Art:

This approach enlists the help from the therapist to produce a piece of Art that is reflective of the individual’s feelings and experiences. It is particularly useful to those who may struggle for a starting point and helps to build a trust and relationship with the therapist that encourages the individual to open up on a therapeutic level.

Active Imagination:

This method encourages freedom of expression and individuality. It releases creativity and encourages a productive discussion on how the client is feeling. The art produced can be abstract and hold meaning to only the artist, who is then encouraged to reflect and explain the art they have produced and what it means to them

Art Therapy for Relaxation:

BlueSkies offer Art Therapy as it has been proven to have a number of physical and emotional benefits in treating Addiction and Mood Disorders. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Assists in the recovery of hand/eye co ordination
  • Taps into Creativity and encourages growth in this area
  • Provides a sense of Achievement
  • Helps build low self-esteem
  • It is fun and can be relaxing
  • Helps to channel the mind into something positive
  • Encourages the individual to explore emotions
  • Provides an outlet for feelings the individual may struggle to identify otherwise
  • Enforces the truth that you do not need drink and drugs to relax and unwind
  • Helps to tap into your inner child
  • Encourages a different perspective and helps the individual identify negative behaviours and thoughts

BlueSkies Art Therapy is taken by a qualified therapist, who is experienced in treating drug and alcohol addiction. The classes therefore are structured and led in a way that is thought provoking and healing to the individual. Clients are given ideas and tasks to help them explore their thoughts and feelings and communicate it through their Art. The added benefit of Art therapy is that the individual may well realise that they have artistic flair and continue to practice this on leaving treatment.