Addiction affects people in a number of negative ways. Many are left feeling confused, alone, drained, and extremely emotional.
Substance abuse treatment programs help a person to stop abusing drugs and alcohol. However, there is a real possibility that a person may not have a restored sense of self once they have completed a rehab program.
Encouraging creative writing can help a person rediscover who they were before addiction took over. Many treatment programs, including ours at Swift River, offer different types of therapy that are both creative and restorative.
What Is Creative Writing In Addiction Treatment?
By definition, creative writing is any type of writing for the purpose of expressing thoughts, emotions, or feelings, rather than simply writing to communicate.
Creative writing in addiction treatment is a way to connect people to their deepest emotions and express them in an artistic way.
Some of the ways that creative writing has helped people in recovery include:
- organizing seemingly chaotic thoughts
- inspiring change
- identifying thoughts that are too difficult to express out loud
- developing a new hobby or interest that would have never been explored otherwise
- providing clarity to true issues and concerns
- increasing self-disclosure
- decreasing trauma symptoms
- lessening symptoms of depression and anxiety
- gaining more trust and therapeutic alliance with treatment
How Does Creative Writing Therapy Work In Addiction Treatment?
For a person attending a rehab program, it can be difficult to navigate the concept of self-disclosure.
Some people may be embarrassed or nervous about sharing personal information. However, self-awareness, disclosure, and honesty are important elements of recovery.
Creative writing therapy can bridge the gap between the thoughts in the brain and expressing them outwardly.
Allowing the mind to wander and putting thoughts on paper are two ways to facilitate healing in a healthy way.
Writing down feelings and emotions can help pinpoint areas to focus on and provide relief. Creative writing can be a useful tool in the recovery journey.
Building a creative writing piece can be empowering to someone who is trying to overcome addiction. As they become stronger during the first part of recovery, there are a lot of mixed emotions and patterns of behavior that are problematic.
Creative writing can allow the person to explore why old thought patterns exist, but also allow new, healthier thought patterns to emerge.
Keeping a journal can provide a timeline that a person can return to later to see their own personal growth, to see how far they’ve come, and the potential consequences of a relapse.
Creative Writing At Swift River
During the 30- to 60-day intensive substance abuse treatment program at Swift River, creative writing, art therapy, music therapy, and several more types of alternative therapy are offered as complementary treatment options to the evidence-based rehab options.
Creative writing at Swift River in Massachusetts takes place in a group setting and can include poetry, song writing, fiction, and non-fiction writing in a group setting.
These sessions are described as journaling or quiet writing and take place during the second stage of treatment at Swift River.
Swift River of Massachusetts offers complementary therapy options to encourage healing and healthy habit development for those attending addiction treatment.
Learn more about how we integrate creative writing as part of a well-rounded recovery approach by contacting us today.
- Addictive Behaviors — Expressive Writing as a Brief Intervention for Reducing Drinking
- Alcohol — Evaluating guilt and shame in an expressive writing alcohol intervention
- Therapeutic Recreation Journal — The Use of Creative Writing Interventions in Substance Abuse Treatment