At Villa Paradiso, we are at the forefront of revolutionary, proven new ways to help our clients recover from addiction, depression, anxiety and other disorders. One of our newest forms of therapy is art therapy. In this article, we teach you everything about it.
What is art therapy?
Art therapy is a non-verbal treatment that uses visual activities such as painting, drawing and modelling.
Not talking, but doing and experiencing are central to this form of therapy. The basic principle here is that artistic elements – such as material, form, colour or technique – each have a specific effect on the person carrying out the tasks.
Each artistic activity involves perceiving, feeling and acting. In the interaction, everyday impressions are transformed and integrated. It is not about making a work of art; The artistic activity in itself mobilizes the health of the maker and stimulates his or her vitality.
The lack of connection to our inner voice
One of the main causes of addiction is the lack of connection to our inner voice, not giving ourselves time to listen to ourselves… until we become mute to our desires, our choices, our impulses, our needs, our emotions. We seek comfort elsewhere, in escaping from ourselves, because confronting our own stifled inner bubbling becomes in itself a pain.
The use of psychoactive substances promises, at the beginning, an escape to an emotional calm. This feeling leads to addiction, which at a certain stage no longer soothes but anaesthetises the sensitivity and destroys the body.
Holistic healing: the day you decide to quit your addiction
The day you decide to quit your addiction, targeted therapies will be put into practice to accompany you in your recovery. Among them, we suggest art therapy.
This therapy consists of a protocol established by a professional to connect you to your emotions and express them through different artistic means such as: painting, drawing, writing, collage, modelling, sculpture, photography, music, dance, theatre, video etc. This practice is important in identifying emotions or in patients who have difficulty expressing themselves in words. It helps to lift the weight of the dust that clutters the small inner voice that struggles to express itself.
Through individual or group sessions, the therapist puts the creative process at the service of the patient’s sensitive development by reconnecting with their feelings.
It is not necessary for the patient to have any artistic knowledge, it is the process itself that is therapeutic.
What art therapy is all about
The connection to the present moment during the making of a work, the work on the awakening of the aesthetic sense and the wonder for a detail, the introspection through music and line or movement, the previously anaesthetised thrill that the word listened to or written provokes, the education of the eye to frame the beautiful in the chaos… The listening to oneself in a moment just for oneself, in which the mind slows down its rhythm. This is what art therapy is all about.
The creative experience allows for a remarkable decrease in cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, which puts the patient in a mood conducive to the expression of emotions. The creative process is a fundamental vector in the activation of the areas of the brain associated with identity, self-awareness and emotions. This leads to the secretion of happiness hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.
What if happiness was already within us and we just had to find the right trigger, within us too?
Nothing would have to be taken from the outside, art therapy teaches us to feed on our own light and to marvel at a drop of coffee in the shape of a landscape on a saucer.
“There are beings who make a sun into a simple yellow spot, but there are also beings who make a simple yellow spot into a sun.”
The creative process teaches us to be sun-hunters in spots and details, to seek to surprise ourselves with what we see within and without. It teaches us to contrast emptiness with fullness when space no longer breathes.
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