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Art Therapy and Psychodrama fall into the category of Experiential Therapy, which are practices that recreate real experiences to bring feelings and beliefs that are subconscious to the surface through art forms. Thankfully, there are many ways to express art through painting, music, and theater. These therapies are used for all kinds of mental issues, but the focus here is on drug addiction.

Art therapy involves hands-on activities like painting, sculpting, drawing, jewelry making, and woodworking. What art therapy does for the brain is that it provides a distraction from any and all negative aspects of life, in this case, drug addiction. This type of therapy has been known to decrease shame in the individual and provides a variety of options to suit individual needs. Everyone deals with struggles differently, which depends on many different things like the way they were raised or what they find rewarding in life.

Painting involves quite a reflection mixed with the process of creation, things that drugs tend to dull out. By practicing the art of painting, the individual has the potential to bring out old aspects of themselves that have been suppressed by their drug use. Sculpting works in a similar way because it involves peaceful concentration on a single action and that kind of focused attention creates a natural distraction from the world.

Psychodrama therapy uses theater techniques that involve acting out personal life events or working with others in the form of a play. Jacob Moreno, the creator of psychodrama, says that psychodrama allows patients to practice creativity, spontaneity, group interactions, and role theory to experience cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses that help the patient see different perspectives and the how their interactions with others by creating challenges in the acts. Patients act out scenes with other actors without any real-life harm or consequences and get the opportunity to see how their actions affect others in the scenes, which reflects how they may have acted while using drugs with loved ones in real life. This can bring more awareness to their behavior without actually hurting anyone psychologically.

Psychodrama therapy involves role reversal, a powerful technique of “switching places” with someone one is not in order to see from a different perspective. The role reversal has been shown to help an individual empathize with individuals they would not normally empathize with because now they have “experienced” what it is like to be that other individual. Other techniques are mirroring, doubling, and soliloquy.

Doubling is interesting because this technique has the patient observes an actor act out what the patient has been behaving like. That includes the patient’s movements, emotions, and thoughts which can effectively help the patient see something they may not have noticed about themselves before. This also builds up empathy. In a soliloquy, the patient relates inner thoughts to an audience, which can help others understand what they may be experiencing or struggling with. All of these techniques help create bonds between group members that provide greater potential for each member to overcome their addiction.

People work harder and have less tendency to give up when they feel supported by others. Asana Recovery offers that support with their Art Therapy and Psychodrama Therapy programs. The environment at Asana Recovery is supportive and encouraging with detox and residential rehabilitation programs. Call 949-438-4504 to learn more about their treatment programs.