Expressive Therapy

image stating 79 percent of patients felt their spirituality improved

From the Feb 2014-Aug 2016 Patient Satisfaction Survey

Lakeview Health adopts a mind/body/spirit approach to recovery. The inclusion of Expressive Therapy (ET) is another supportive feature that contributes to this treatment philosophy. ET improves the physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual functioning of Lakeview patients encouraging them to more fully engage in life.

While at Lakeview, patients learn a variety of healthy coping skills that support long-term recovery. ET allows patients to practice these new skills in a safe and supportive environment. It gives them the opportunity to re-connect with leisure and healthy fun without the need for intoxicants.

Patients who participate in active recreational programming:

  • Learn how to have fun in sobriety.
  • Identify how to choose non-intoxicant alternatives for achieving their goals.
  • Improve the use of their free time and leisure planning.
  • Increase their self-esteem and self-actualization.
  • Learn how to cope with stress without the use of chemicals.
  • Learn strategies to deal with anger and anxiety and depression.
  • Identify how to adopt healthy skills for socializing drug and alcohol free.

Most people take their first drink or drug as part of a leisure activity. As patients learn what leisure in recovery can look like, they gain confidence, a sense of pride and increased self-esteem for trying new activities for the first time in many years.

Some of the recreational activities we offer include arts and crafts, sports, team building games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings and volunteerism.

The Expressive Therapy program at Lakeview Health offers four distinct groups:

  • Anger Management
    Teaching skills in addressing and diffusing anger in a healthy and constructive way.
  • Relaxation
    Utilizing the Recovery By Design Group that helps patients express their feelings through various art assignments.
  • Challenges
    Builds on skills for anger management and effective communication.
  • Leisure Education
    Leisure education helps identify values, practicing leisure skills (team work, anger management and problem solving.

The Helium Stick

In the below video, some of our staff illustrate an activity called the Helium Stick. The activity is designed to show patients that when you get stressed out, you have a physical reaction and your muscles tense up, affecting your whole body, even the little muscles in your fingers. When your whole body becomes stressed, you lose focus on your initial task, inevitably becoming more and more frustrated. So how does this relate to recovery? Watch and find out.

About Alexis 

Alexis Thomas, M.S., LMHC, CTRS has a bachelor’s degree in recreation from Georgia Southern College and a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Troy University. Alexis is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist. Prior to her work at Lakeview, she worked for the Methodist Home for Children. Alexis applies spiritual principles in her clinical practice.

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