Art Therapy Group facilitator Jordan Panko and patients at Serenity Recovery speak about finding peace through artistic expressions.
Walk into the Art Room at Serenity Recovery while the Art Therapy Group is in session, and you will see a room full of people drawing, painting, coloring, turning pages this way and that, creating art that speaks to them. Each patient is putting a piece of himself or herself out there for the world to see. Their interpretation of their lives and the world around them as they view it. Many patients are accomplished artists and are reconnecting with their talent. Others are discovering a new passion. All of them are learning how creative expression can assist them in overcoming their addiction.
Art Therapy is one of the many courses for our patients to explore as part of their rehabilitation strategy. These courses build on the foundation that is the core of our program options. Other supplemental groups include Music Exploration, and various Life Skills courses. Each one focuses on a different aspect of recovery. The programs help patients learn how to manage the stresses of life better while sober. Art Therapy concentrates on increasing the ability of the patient to express emotions.
Jordan Panko is Serenity Recovery’s Director of Program Support Services, as well as the facilitator for the Art Therapy Group. Taking a few moments out of his busy schedule, he spoke about his first-person perspective on the benefit of this course. “What’s amazing to see is the sense of joy that they find in the Art Therapy program,” he said of the patients. “Many of them have struggled with depression or anger issues.” These negative emotions are major contributing factors in a patient’s addiction, and using was they only way they could cope. “I believe that Art Therapy helps individuals express those emotions that they have repressed for so long, in a way that they did not know how to express,” Jordan continued. “Sometimes art goes to speak for things that go typically unspoken.” Discovering healthy and positive ways of handling negative emotions is vital to recovery.
Dillon D., a Serenity patient, shares his experience in the Art course. “There are not many things that I can remember enjoying doing before using drugs and alcohol,” he observes. “I put up a wall in front of everything, and that wall is, brick by brick, being taken down with expressing myself.” Dillon is sharpening a tool that he will be able to use for the rest of his life – a method of handling negativity and stress.
Sierra D. finds her time in the Art Room to be relaxing and refreshing. “Art therapy is helping me in my recovery by just letting go,” she said, “letting loose and experiencing art in a whole new way.” The passion and dedication that facilitator Jordan has for his role in the art course, and the impact that he has made on many people’s lives, also make this a beneficial program. “I’m excited to go and experience the Art Class with Jordan,” Sierra told us, “mostly because I love his energy. He’s fun to be around, and he always brightens my day.”
We strive to provide our patients with a dynamic substance abuse treatment program that will fit their needs. We accomplish this by offering a wide variety of treatment options and programs. The Art Therapy Group and other groups like it are invaluable to the progress and rehabilitation of our patients. The staff members at Serenity Recovery, like Jordan Panko, are dedicated to the success of each one of our patients. They work closely with them as they regain control over their lives. Our patients discover a sense of confidence and a more positive self-image and find themselves a few steps further along their path to recovery.