Art therapy is a holistic approach for drug and alcoholic use problems that has a proven track record for success. Self portraits and scenes that present a calming, peaceful and serene feeling can offer individuals internal reflection to help them address the reasons they turn to alcohol and drugs. Participants in art therapy are able to express themselves through collage, sculpture, painting, pottery and drawing.
For individuals who have a difficult time verbally expressing themselves art therapy gives them the venue for self expression. It provides a method of treatment to recover and increase the emotional, physical and mental health of persons struggling with alcohol and drug use.
Art therapy has been used over the years as a way to express mental struggle for patients in psychiatric counseling. Developed in the mid 20th century, it began as a method of treating psychiatric patients with mental illness. Since that time, it has been effectively used in schools, with children struggling with physical abuse and in hospitals with cancer and AIDS patients as well as a number of other diseases. Art therapy is beneficial because it allows the individual self expression and allows a more open interaction than the traditional method of talk therapy.
Individuals in art therapy paint their interpretation of the work from artists such as Van Gogh and Monet and at the same time insert their emotions while they are painting. Art therapy challenges control issues by asking the participant to use a medium that is new and different to them. At the same time, art therapy charges the individual in an alcohol or drug program to look at their life and circumstances from a different perspective. The purpose is to encourage self confidence, self control and to empower them to take back their life from alcohol and drug use.
Artistic talent is not required for art therapy to be successful, but a will to participate is needed. There is no judgment displayed toward the work. The important information is in the message the artist is visually telling. In the first sessions of art therapy, participants may exhibit fear, anger, confusion and frustration. However, as self change takes place, art can bring about more confidence, positivity, energy and optimism.
St. Jude Retreats offers a non-thearpy education based program to help people overcome their alcohol and drug use problems. Based on the ideas of Cognitive Behavioral Learning, St. Jude Retreats does not approach drug and alcohol use as a disease or genetic defect, but as a choice that people make. Our philosophy is that if you change your thoughts and behaviors, you will successfully change your life. The St Jude's Program does not approve of art therapy as a treatment modality for substance abuse as an effective way of fixing a problem. Through the use of educational approaches, St. Jude Retreats offers small intimate classes and social activities. When not in classes, guests have a variety of activities to help regenerate the mind, body and spirit.
As treatment programs try to keep up with the numbers of people affected by alcohol and drug use problems it is tragic to say that change needs to occur before the numbers subside. There are a variety of rehab and treatment programs available to New Yorkers including 12 step programs and methadone clinics to name a couple, but their success is not measured; and treatment professionals estimate success at or below 20%. Perhaps this is due to their policies and philosophies. 12 step programs and clinics have been telling people for quite some time that their alcohol and drug use is a disease and that they cannot help that they use drugs and alcohol because they have a genetic defect. Both types of programs use support group meetings to manipulate and bully their participants into pledging abstinence, which they repeatedly fail to succeed. The revolving door to these programs never seems to stop and neither does the lifelong treatment. Perhaps a better solution is a non-treatment approach.
There is no condemnation and no judgments placed on the guest. St. Jude Retreats helps guests move past their current circumstances and empowers them to live healthy and successful lives. St. Jude Retreats is not a 12 step program and we are not religiously affiliated. We do not use prescription drugs to substitute for recreational drug use. Our guests come to understand that they can regain control of their life from problem alcohol and drug use. Our guests are empowered when they see they can make different choices to have a more fulfilling life. Discover the difference today!