therapeutic activities that allow clients to express feelings and thoughts—conscious or unconscious—that they might have difficulty communicating with spoken words alone.
Purpose. Expressive therapy groups generally foster social interaction among group members as they engage either together or independently in a creative activity. These groups therefore can improve socialization and the development of creative interests. Further, by enabling clients to express themselves in ways they might not be able to in traditional talking therapies, expressive therapies can help clients explore their substance abuse, its origins, the effect it has had on their lives, and new options for coping. These groups can also help clients resolve trauma (like child abuse or domestic violence) that may have been a progenitor of their substance abuse. For example, Glover (1999) states that play therapy and art therapy are particularly useful for substance abuse treatment clients who have been incest victims. Play and art therapies enable these clients to work through their trauma and substance abuse issues using alternatives to verbal communication (Glover 1999)..