Art therapy has become increasingly popular in the world of mental illness and addiction recovery, as its benefits have given many people expression, openness, growth and acceptance of what they’ve gone through. With art therapy, the goal isn’t to construct a “perfect” piece of artwork that is meant to be critiqued; rather, it’s meant to serve as a form of self-expression in which a person can re-create a memory, feeling, or instance in which they wish to portray to make better sense of what their life. Alain de Botton and John Armstrong explained in their book titled, “Art as Therapy” that art can serve 7 main functions when it comes to therapy:


  • Rememberinga way of preserving experiences, art may serve to help us appreciate the most meaningful or important aspects of a memory.
  • Hope – with much negativity surrounding us, art can serve as a mode of what could be – giving us an image that we can hope for in the future
  • Sorrow – a tool to help us connect with our feelings, art can render us the very thoughts or feelings that we seek to hide most; it can present itself in subtlety or with purpose, but, nonetheless, strike us with moments of sorrow that we need to address
  • Rebalancing – since our art is what we make of it, art therapy allows us to rebalance the situations we’ve experienced by manipulating distinct aspects to gain better understandings from various viewpoints
  • Self-Understanding – at times we may suppress how we really feel about instances that have occurred throughout our lives; art provides us with an opportunity to bring these suppressions to light as we explore our own inner self
  • Growth – through art, we may come to new realizations, allowing us to move forward in a more positive and productive way
  • Appreciation – there may be moments of beauty, innocence, or growth that we didn’t realize at the time, and creating art of these moments can give us a sense of appreciation for what we failed to recognize at that time


If you haven’t already, speak with a representative at a reputable treatment center to learn more about art therapy and how it can be of benefit to your recovery. Most often, art therapy serves as an excellent form of complementary therapy to a treatment regime. Broaden your horizons with art – allow yourself to be moved in ways you never thought possible.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.

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