Whether you are making, viewing, or remembering the art that you have seen, reflection happens. Art allows you to tap into parts of yourself that have been hidden and deepen your understanding of your experiences. With a deeper connection to yourself and others, you can start to understand the roots of your challenges. Thus, Exclusive Hawaii Rehab will help you make mindful connections to yourself and others through self-expression in art therapy.

What Is Art Therapy?

According to Frontiers in Psychology, art therapy can be a broad expressive therapy that can include:

  • Music
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Writing

However, many of these artistic forms of self-expression can be explored as their therapies. Therefore, art therapy can be narrowed to explore self-expression within media like drawing and painting. Art therapy captures and makes visible the inner pictures of the self through the creative process of art-making. The development of art therapy is formed in part from the belief in unspoken things. The belief in unspoken things speaks to art as a means of self-expression to explore the parts of yourself that are difficult to reach and understand.

Mental Health Benefits of Positive Self-Expression

The process of self-expression in art therapy can be a deeply positive and empowering experience for you in recovery. Art therapy allows you to tap into the roots of your emotions and experiences. Addressing the traumatic or distressing experiences at the core root of your self-destructive behaviors can be difficult to talk about. However, with art therapy, you can explore those difficult-to-talk-about experiences and emotions indirectly through art.

When you can engage in self-expression through art, you bypass barriers to communication, connection, and self-understanding for healing. As noted in Plos One, art therapy supports emotional regulation and self-expression by resolving inner emotional conflicts and expanding emotional awareness and personal insight. The distress symptoms of various mental health disorders like anxiety and depression often increase avoidance behaviors. Your desire to escape distressing thoughts and feelings can lead to self-destructive behaviors like substance misuse.

Thus, the indirect nature of art therapy helps you explore and express those thoughts and feelings in healthier ways. Through art making, you can find relief and healing from mental distress as you reduce avoidance behaviors through positive self-expression in art. Some of the mental health benefits of positive self-expression in art therapy include:

  • More self-acceptance
  • Increased problem-solving skills
  • Improved sense of self
  • More agency
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved self-identity

The healthy coping mechanisms born out of positive self-expression in art-making can support your healing for a fulfilling life in recovery.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

What to Expect During Art Therapy Sessions

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, true healing is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each art therapy session is tailored to your specific needs and goals for recovery. Therefore, you will be able to work in collaboration with your care team to find the right path to support your self-expression. However, there are some common features that you might experience in your art therapy sessions:

  • Art therapy can happen as a part of individual or group therapy
  • Establish a healing plan with your clinician
    • Addresses your specific needs and goals for healing
  • Check-in before sessions
    • Can discuss what challenges and successes have come up since the last session
    • You can also discuss your goals for the session and beyond
  • The art-making process can be structured or unstructured
    • You can decide what you make that day, or your clinician can provide a prompt
    • Self-expression during art-making can happen in silence, or you can verbalize your processing
      • Together, you can make sense of the thoughts, feelings, and experiences coming out of the art
    • Can create alone, or you can collaborate with your clinician
  • After the session, you can process the work and self-expression
    • Can process what came up from the art-making process and the art itself
  • Close session with a final activity
    • Discuss what happened during the session
    • Make plans for the next session
    • Mind-body activity to recenter

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, healing is a collaborative process, and we are here to empower you to find your path to healing.

Combining Self-Expression in Art Therapy With Other Treatments

As noted in an article from Cureus, art has a long, storied history as a tool for self-expression, healing, and communication. Thus, art therapy can be an invaluable therapeutic tool for healing in combination with other therapies like talk therapy. In art therapy, different media can help you explore and reflect on various themes that have impacted your life.

Whether through the molding of clay or painting on a canvas, the process of self-expression through making opens the door to self-reflection. The process of art-making is in itself a challenge to continuously learn and grow in knowledge and skill. Your commitment to self-expression in the making of art is a reflection of your capacity for self-sufficiency and the ability to overcome obstacles.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Finding Self-Expression in Art Therapy at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, our comprehensive and holistic approach to healing puts you at the center of the process. Healing should not be based on fear and shame but on self-acceptance and self-compassion. With a range of therapeutic modalities like art therapy, self-expression through art-making can support the dismantling of your self-destructive behaviors. Moreover, with our customizable program, you can collaborate with your clinician to build a plan that meets your specific needs immersed in a lush, vibrant, and secluded healing space.