Why Is Art Therapy Used In Treatment?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:


Mental health disorders can be considered fatal. For example, anorexia nervosa is considered the “deadliest” mental health disorder. Substance use disorders are also considered deadly as they are relapsing and remitting diseases which include the use of chemical substances which can cause overdose death. Treatment for mental health disorders has to be effective in order to save lives. The question is not so much why is art therapy used by why isn’t it used more often?

Any kind of therapy type that can reduce stress, provide release, offer a break from traditional therapy, and make the recovery/treatment process more enjoyable is a critical therapy to include in treatment programming. Art therapy is used in treatment because it is proven to have a positive effect on the mental well being of clients in a treatment program.

Through the use of various media, meaning supplies, and structured activities, art therapy can help clients unlock what is beneath the surface and hidden away from words. Creating images, using colors, and navigating meditative art processes helps the brain release new information without having to verbally confront what might be difficult thoughts to process. In a different position than a primary therapist, an art therapist has a unique opportunity to guide the psyche of a client through the creative process of expression. Art therapy often lends primary therapists insight into what is coming up for the client, giving them more structure as to where to take their treatment.

Art therapy is also a welcome break in the traditional therapy cycle. Group therapy and individual therapy sessions often include a lot of verbal talking, listening, and processing. Art therapy is a time to get quiet and engage in the creative process, often a much anticipated relief. During art therapy, the brain gets used in a different way, which doesn’t include so much processing and analyzing. Free to express through creativity, clients avoid developing ‘burnout’ on treatment, which can become detrimental to the treatment process as a whole.


Avalon By The Sea offers primary mental health and substance use disorder treatments in addition to excellent dual diagnosis care. Our trusted programs provide trusted results, helping clients find healing in mind, body, and spirit. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call us today: 888-958-7511.

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