As it turns out, igniting the creative side of someone’s mind might prove to be a dominant force in the realm of fighting addiction. In an age of inescapable technology, one rehab in Southern California is getting primarily hands-on in their treatment modalities.
Shoreline Recovery Center, a treatment center located in San Diego County, California, is adopting a new method of fighting addiction to opioids centered around all types of creativity.
The San Diego rehab decided to incorporate art therapy, a way of professional psychologists, to heal patients from a myriad of mental illnesses. Kate Judd, MRC, LAADC, and program director of Shoreline Recovery Center gave a statement regarding the process and efficacy of art therapy at Shoreline Recovery Center:
“Addiction thrives in black and white thinking- the “do or die” mentality. One of the ways art therapy addresses this is that it engages parts of the brain that are used for creativity. When these areas are stimulated and enhanced by art therapy, creativity can bleed into other areas of their lives. Recovery is no longer a black and white issue.”
Although not gaining much publicity until reasonably recently, art therapy has been around since the 1940s.
According to Michigan State University’s findings, art therapy was able to reap the following benefits in multiple studies:
● “Helped reduce pain, decrease symptoms of stress, and improve quality of life in adult cancer patients.”
● “Improved ability to deal with pain and other frightening symptoms in children with cancer.”
● “Reduced stress and anxiety in children with asthma.”
● “Stimulated mental function in older adults with dementia.”
● “Indicated a reduction in depression in Parkinson’s patients.”
Psychology Today author, Grant Hilary Brenner, MD, speaks joyfully on the positive effects of creativity on someone’s brain. He states that creativity affects three networks in the brain.
He continues: “I like to call them the “Big Three” brain networks — the default mode network, the executive control network, and the salience network. Prior research suggests that they work together when it comes to being creative. The default mode network is what’s happening in the brain in a resting (but not sleeping) state, the brain’s “idle state.” The executive control network monitors what is going on, manage emotional parts of the brain, directs resources like attention, and oversees decisions and choices. The salience network determines which sorts of things tend to be noticed, and which tend to fly under the radar. In PTSD, for example, the salience network is scanning for threats.
Luckily, art therapy has no age limit, either. Even senior citizens can practice art in a therapeutic, beneficial, and revealing manner. Those of all ages suffering from addiction are welcome to attend Shoreline Recovery Center’s program for addicted adults.
As mentioned above by both Kate Judd, MRC, LAADC, and Grant Hillary Brenner, MD, art therapy stimulates different parts of the brain than addiction. Not only this, but many patients regard art therapy as a vessel for losing the “ego”, or clearing their minds of cravings and even self-centeredness. By practicing arts such as painting, drawing, sculpture, music, and other forms of creativity, addicts and alcoholics might have an improved chance of fighting their addictions.
It appears hope exists for addicts and alcoholics suffering from the disease of addiction through creativity.
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Organization: Shoreline Recovery Center
Address: 183 Calle Magdalena Suite 101 Encinitas, CA 92024