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Substance use disorder (SUD) impacts many areas of a person’s life and general health. Often, treatment involves finding new ways to reframe recovery to encourage healing and personal growth. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.” Reframing your recovery is encouraged at West Coast Recovery Centers, where clients use holistic alternative therapies to enhance treatment.

How Does Reframing Your Recovery Reduce the Risk of Relapse?

Individuals in recovery experience many stressors and may need help processing their treatment and diagnosis. Internalized stigmas sometimes cause people to initially view their recovery from a negative point of view. Reframing recovery is one way to reduce stress and enhance the effectiveness of treatment. Creative outlets are ideal for allowing clients in recovery to explore self-expression, reduce internalized stigmas, gain self-awareness, and engage in healing through hands-on activities.

Reframing recovery in this way reduces the risk of relapse by doing the following:

  • Helping the client feel in control of their recovery
  • Encouraging clients to gain social skills by engaging with peers during low-stress activities
  • Reducing feelings of guilt, shame, or regret associated with their diagnosis or treatment

Creative outlets also significantly reduce the risk of relapse. In many cases, relapse starts with moments of boredom or triggered cravings. By finding healthy outlets and hobbies, people in recovery reduce boredom and stay focused on finding ways to manage their condition. Creative outlets benefit individuals in outpatient treatment who may need additional support.

Accepting Your Diagnosis and Actively Engaging in Treatment

Some clients have difficulty accepting their diagnosis or truly engaging in their recovery. Clinicians may use creative therapies to help clients find new ways to process and accept their circumstances. Acceptance and a commitment to change are some of the first steps toward healing from SUD. Becoming more actively engaged in treatment also improves the effectiveness of therapy. Clients are more likely to gain essential skills and insights if they focus entirely on their recovery using traditional and alternative therapies.

Actively participating in treatment involves the following:

  • Prioritizing self-care
  • Communicating openly with the care team
  • Engaging with peers during group therapy, support groups, and community activities
  • Taking an active role in creating treatment and aftercare plans

Clients who find healthy ways to accept their circumstances are more likely to make changes that support long-term recovery. Studies have shown that “Motivation is a critical element of behavior change that predicts client abstinence and reductions in substance use.” Creative outlets provide motivation and inspiration for ongoing recovery.

What Does Reframing Your Recovery Mean in Everyday Life?

Recovery impacts all areas of a person’s life, from how they interact with others to internal beliefs and behaviors. Reframing recovery in a more positive way makes the treatment more effective. Therapy and peer engagement provide greater support for people who have a favorable view of their recovery and treatment programs.

Reframing recovery in everyday life means doing the following:

  • Separating mental health diagnosis from self-identity
  • Accepting the need for help and embracing treatment
  • Developing realistic expectations
  • Choosing to learn from mistakes instead of being overwhelmed by them

Everyone has a different way of looking at their treatment and recovery. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Self-determination and self-direction are the foundations for recovery as individuals define their own life goals and design their unique path(s) towards those goals.” Creative activities help clients look at their life goals in a new way by activating different areas of the brain.

Common Creative Outlets for Reframing Your Recovery

People in treatment personalize their experience by participating in creative activities they connect with on a deeper level. Many clients find music, painting, and group activities motivating and inspiring.

Some standard creative outlets for reframing recovery include:

  • Art, music, or dance therapy
  • Journaling
  • Group art activities
  • Artistic sports
  • Creative activities with friends and family

Clients work with their care team during treatment to determine what types of complementary or holistic therapies may improve their recovery experience. Often, creative activities are combined with psychotherapy to help clients process trauma or other underlying issues using healthy forms of self-expression.

Finding Creative Outlets in Aftercare

Creative activities are an excellent way to reduce stress during and after treatment. Clients transitioning out of structured treatment often work with their case manager and other care team members to identify local creative outlets to help them maintain positive mental health during aftercare. West Coast Recovery Centers ensures every client has access to the resources and tools needed to maintain sobriety after completing treatment. Clinicians use referrals to outside art therapy or other creative therapies to help clients transition smoothly to independent sobriety.

Some people have difficulty feeling engaged in their recovery. Creative outlets allow them to express their experiences and expectations. In addition, creativity is an excellent way to reduce stress and look at things from a different perspective. Clients in treatment often benefit from using a combination of evidence-based and alternative holistic therapies. Some of the most common forms of alternative therapy include art and music therapy. Artistic outlets are an excellent way to maintain positive mental health during and after treatment. West Coast Recovery Centers helps clients find alternative ways to reframe their recovery to improve the effectiveness of treatment. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (760) 492-6509.

West Coast Recovery Centers ( 370135CP), Valid through July 31, 2025
Jackson House Visalia (540056AP), Valid through May 15, 2025
DHCS Licensing and Certification Division