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“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.” Pearl Buck—1938 Nobel Prize-winning writer.

Creativity is a deep look inside one’s soul. If you look with your heart at a piece of artwork or listen with your soul to music, you may see the pain or hear the cries of a person locked within the chambers of their own mind. An artist uses a medium to share how they view or hear the world around them. Sometimes they use it to quiet their mind; oil on canvas, pen to paper, music notes meticulously arranged, songs written through tears.

A person suffering from addiction, mental health issues or trauma uses substances or behaviors as a coping mechanism to help ease their suffering and quiet their mind. Unfortunately, when the substances or the behaviors stop working, and they will, the person is left with a mind that is louder than it was before.

Complementary and alternative practices such as Art Therapy and Music Therapy have been proven to benefit those in recovery or treatment for addictions, behavioral disorders, mental health issues and trauma. Both are empowering and build self-esteem.


Art Therapy, dating back to the 1950s, is an alternative form of treatment that uses different artistic approaches to encourage the person to creatively express themselves. The act of creativity can reveal unconscious and underlying processes related to addictions, mental health issues, disordered behaviors, and trauma.

Art therapy has been used to decrease symptoms of anxiety and repair damage caused by emotional strife. Art therapy is empowering because it gives the person the ability to discover – or rediscover – themselves with the help of a therapist.


  • Reduce denial.
  • Decrease resistance to treatment.
  • Improve communication skills.
  • Decrease shame and guilt.
  • Increase motivation.
  • Improve social skills in group settings.


Music therapy, dating back to the 1970s, is an alternative treatment that has shown positive results in those who have not benefited from other options. Music is used as a form of creative self-expression and allows the person to communicate in a nonconventional manner. There is no need for a background or education in music to participate.


  • Promote positive emotions.
  • Help with relaxation.
  • Help prevent relapse.
  • Reduced depression, anxiety, stress, and anger.
  • Increase willingness to seek treatment.
  • Enhance positivity.
  • Increase attention and concentration.
  • Improve interpersonal skills.

When used in conjunction with traditional therapies, Art and Music Therapy have been found to have a significant impact on those in treatment. Embracing the creative process offers new and enjoyable ways to heal the body, mind, and spirit.