Art and Music Therapy


Choice House uses a variety of therapeutic modalities to increase the potential success of recovery patients in maintaining sobriety. Of course, each individual’s recovery process is different and, as such, Choice House is dedicated to providing a litany of therapy options to ensure and improve the success rate of recovery patients. We feel that once a person has the opportunity to get sober, one of the next biggest obstacles is communication, not just with others but also with oneself.

Many of the issues that lead to self-medicating and substance abuse stem from a lack of self-awareness about the underlying emotions or mental health issues that are troubling them; the emotions are present as are the physical repercussions of those emotions, but the mind struggles to grasp or even acknowledge these troubling feelings. 

Men in particular struggle with methods of communication and self-awareness which may account for statistics that report men being more vulnerable to addiction, particularly for alcohol abuse.  Approximately 20 percent of men report some form of alcohol misuse disorder as opposed to 12 percent of women.

Finding new means of communication could account for the high success rates of Choice House’s art and music therapy programs that allow recovery patients to increase self-awareness and thus better understand their addiction. Art and music therapy has been proven to be one of the most successful therapeutic modalities for tapping into unprocessed emotions through creation or engagement with art and music. These two methods have proven vital in the recovery efforts of many patients.

History of Art and Music Therapy

Art therapy being used in addiction recovery treatment has been around since the 1950s. That may not seem that long in regards to the longstanding development of Western medicine, but some 70 years is a long time in the very young, developing medical fields of psychology and addiction recovery. Throughout those 70 years, art therapy has proven influential in playing a critical role in helping achieve and maintain sobriety in patients suffering from addictive substance use disorders.

Music therapy, however, is a relatively new therapeutic modality that has been used since the 1970s. Either through dancing, analysing or playing songs, or making music, music therapy operates in a similar fashion to art therapy for helping patients to communicate and better understand the emotional context of their addictions. 

What Does Art and Music Therapy Entail?

To many who have never dabbled in the creative arts, terms like art therapy and music therapy may immediately bring on feelings of anxiety with the added pressure to create something “good” or worthwhile. This is definitely not the case and not the type of artistic endeavors we are getting at when discussing art therapy. 

All the therapeutic modalities that Choice House offers are voluntary and we are in no way asking you to create an aesthetically beautiful art piece. Rather, we are offering a better solution for processing unconscious emotions and feelings through a therapeutic process that you may find effective and surprisingly enjoyable. 

Art therapy involves multiple methods of creating and viewing artwork that can help tap into the unconscious minds of recovery patients while also being a fun and entertaining enterprise. The particular artistic approaches can include incident drawings, emotion paintings, stress painting, art journaling, as well as creating sculptures or collages. 

Music therapy can involve both songwriting and analysis of lyrics in music, drumming, as well as movement to music. Both practices have shown positive improvement in addiction patients recovery by allowing them to better tap into their emotions and express themselves.

The Benefits of Art and Music Therapy

In particular, art therapy has helped patients decrease their denial of having an addiction, reduced opposition to treatment, provided better outlets for communication, and lessened feelings of shame revolving around the addiction recovery process. Viewing artwork and analyzing it has also proven beneficial to patients in recovery.

The benefits of music therapy are as far reaching as those of art therapy. Music itself has a tendency to innately tap into the unconscious mind of all humanity through rhythm and beat. For recovery patients, this can help them access unconscious emotions that may be fueling their addictive behaviours, but more importantly, music can also create a calming foundation for stressful situations and be a welcome balm for individuals experiencing newfound sobriety.

In particular, drumming has been shown to help chronic relapsers reduce the regularity of these incidents while also creating a better sense of relaxation in all recovery patients. And if you give it a chance, even if it’s only when nobody’s watching, dance has proven to be successful as a therapy method as well. Once you get past the feelings of self-consciousness, dance and movement to music can be used to help reduce anxiety, depression, anger, and even stress.

If you think you could benefit from art and music therapy modalities on your path to sobriety, Choice House is the recovery facility you have been looking for. Located in Boulder County, Colorado, we offer multiple therapeutic modalities, including art and music therapy, to help men recover from addiction and re-enter society as active and productive members. Choice House is dedicated to providing recovery patients with a solid foundation of love and empathy and we provide the necessary tools to not only achieve sobriety but maintain a sober lifestyle independently for the long term. Through our 90-day inpatient treatments, intensive outpatient programs, and sober living campus, our experienced and well-trained staff are more than capable of providing you the help you need to recover from addiction and substance use, as well as a smooth transition into your new sober lifestyle. If you are ready to find a better life through addiction recovery, call Choice House at (720) 577-4422 for more information.

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