E Expressive therapy is the use of music, art, drama, dance/movement, and creative writing as a therapeutic strategy in psychotherapy, rehabilitation, and counseling. This method is used in conjunction with group and individual therapy sessions as a technique of expression when normal verbal communication is not preferred by the individual.
When an addict has been abusing drugs for numerous years their brain becomes hardwired to obtain the drug as it is the greatest reward at the time. Little development in creativity or expression occur when drug abuse is involved and by incorporating expressive therapy to their treatment plan, this modality becomes an outlet for their frustrations and/or a method of curbing cravings.
Studies have shown success with this modality in children trying to communicate trauma with their therapist. An adaptation of this practice is being used for substance abuse as recovering addict may be harboring similar traumatic events that caused the drug abuse or traumatic events that occurred during their drug induced lifestyle.
Neukrug, E. (2011). Counseling theory and practice. Australia: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 1999. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 34.) Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64947/