The Importance of Creative Expression in Treatment

The Importance of Creative Expression in Treatment

While traditional forms of therapy and treatment are always part of clients’ journeys at Roots Recovery, we offer a multitude of other services. These are often seen through different forms of expression through creativity. Implementing these services for therapy and treatment helps clinicians and clients focus on the whole-person approach Roots aims to achieve.

The Whole-Person Approach

The whole-person approach at Roots Recovery focuses on the client as an individual, working to repair the connection between their mind, body, and soul. Services such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), spiritual exploration, mindfulness, meditation, and experiential groups are incorporated into our whole-person approach.

These kinds of interventions are intended to heal the whole person, not only the outward reason for seeking treatment. Healing one’s inner body and mind helps one develop a deeper connection to and a full and true understanding of the self. Once an inner connection is established, it is much easier to repair external relationships. Therefore, one can experience more progress in one’s recovery journey.

How Does Creative Expression Aid the Whole-Person Approach?

Creative expression supports this whole-person approach. Learning different ways to express themselves allows clients to voice their inner monologue and emotions. In doing so, clients can learn a new outlet of expression to create a deeper connection with themselves. 

Often, talk therapy is not as beneficial on its own for clients. Therefore, incorporating creative methods of expression paves other paths for clients to take when expressing and understanding their emotions. This works with the whole-person approach. The deeper level of understanding can open doors for clients to experience inner healing—mental and emotional—as well as outer healing—physical—in some cases.

Creative Services Offered at Roots Recovery

Creative expression can open paths for clients to heal emotional traumas, increase their understanding of themselves, introduce a new form of self-reflection into their lives, reduce mental illness symptoms, and start to remedy behavioral and thinking patterns or processes. When clients are engaged in these services, they can use this creative outlet to express themselves as well as benefit their mental health. These services can help decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety and reduce depressive symptoms. 

Interestingly, creative therapies can also improve physical health. They can help reduce pain, improve quality of life, improve the ability to cope with pain, and stimulate mental functioning.

At Roots Recovery, art therapy, improv group therapy, music therapy, and creative writing are just some of the creative therapies that can be implemented into one’s recovery plan. 

Art Therapy

Roots Recovery offers art therapy to help clients gain an understanding of their experiences. This happens as they engage with this form of expression, cope with subconscious emotions, identify how creativity and art can reveal underlying emotional challenges, and embark on a self-transformation process through their artwork.

Improv Group Therapy

The improv for recovery group at Roots Recovery uses the healing power of laughter. Exercises used in this group help clients stay in the present moment. It takes them out of their own heads to have fun in a safe and supportive environment.

This joy helps clients reconnect with themselves and others in the group. In doing so, they are improving their interpersonal effectiveness, empathy, and emotional intelligence. Emotionally and intellectually, the group develops a deeper connection through listening to and interacting with one another. Likewise, this therapy promotes emotional regulation and acceptance, aided by dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Music Therapy

The narrative music group at Roots Recovery uses the power of music to help clients improve their mental health and well-being. The leader of this group will encourage clients to enhance their creativity and self-expression while also regulating emotions. These outcomes are facilitated through writing song lyrics, making music, moving, and listening to and discussing different songs. 

Narrative music group sessions focus on social-emotional learning. Clients can learn to understand themselves and their emotions better, understand the other group members better, and work on ways to express themselves in different ways, such as through their own song lyrics. 

Another music group is the rock to recovery group. In this group, clients examine their emotions and self-esteem, enhance positivity and empowerment, improve self-awareness and concentration, develop better coping skills and problem-solving strategies, increase mindfulness and relaxation, improve interpersonal skills, and learn to express themselves through music. 

Drumming for healing is another music service we offer. This group focuses exclusively on clients practicing drumming to understand how different rhythms and sounds have different impacts. These include changes in mood and state of being, improvements in immune health, exploration of how the brain functions with different drumming patterns, creativity through new patterns paired with body coordination to trigger brain functioning, and exploration of consciousness at the moment.

Creative Writing

Creative writing at Roots Recovery is similar to the writing aspect of the narrative music group. However, this therapy is guided by prompts and sometimes free-write opportunities. Clients are encouraged to explore their perspectives and thoughts about a prompt freely and share with the group. 

When given opportunities to free-write, clients can process their internal feelings and emotional experiences and put them into words. Often, clients reflect on their past and relate it to the present. This allows them to develop a deeper understanding of that past moment and how it currently affects them.

Creative expression practices such as these are important for clients’ mental health and recovery journeys. At Roots Recovery, our clients have the opportunity to participate in all of these groups. 

Here at Roots Recovery, traditional forms of therapy are paired with creative outlets so clients can develop a truly deep understanding of themselves. We offer services such as art therapy, music therapies, creative writing, and improv therapy. Many of these therapies occur in a group setting, allowing clients to not only develop a deeper understanding of their own emotions but also generate greater emotional intelligence and empathy with others. Mental illness symptoms and some physical health symptoms can decrease through these forms of creative expression, giving clients new outlets to express themselves in a safe and non-judgmental environment. To learn more about these services, please call us at (562) 473-0827.

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“I am so grateful to be an alumni of Roots. Roots took me from my darkest of places, to the brightest and most beautiful part of life I've ever lived. They genuinely care about their clients. You will not be a number or a paycheck here. After discharging in February, I still receive help and words of wisdom whenever needed. Roots helped me battle things I'd been struggling with for over 14 years and finally put them behind me. I love roots with all my heart, and always will.”


“Just got 365 days sober today all thanks to these people at Roots. And saved my marriage.”


“It's great to see such a high quality of care program in Long Beach! The entire staff shows great care and compassion for their clients. The therapists are among the best around. Their admissions and case management is compassionate and driven to help you succeed! If your looking for help with trauma or substance abuse, this is the place for help!”


“Very serene setting, you feel right at home when you walk in. The staff are super nice and really care about their clients.”


“The most compassionate and knowledgeable staff! Roots Through Recovery offers the best addiction care and treatment available. They use multiple disciplines to cater to a wide variety of clients. Music therapy, art name it, Roots has it! Do yourself a kindness and check them out. You'll be glad you did.”