Clients in A.R.T.C. use their own talents to aid in recovery process
The pain and trauma of drug addiction and mental illness can make it difficult for some people to put their feelings in to words, which can often hamper their recovery process. A unique program, offered through Preferred Family Healthcare, Achieving Resiliency, Responsibility & Recovery through Creativity (A.R.T.C.) is helping program participants to use their talents and interests as tools for personal growth and recovery. The A.R.T.C. program was originally developed as part of the adolescent substance use disorder (SUD) treatment program to use the strengths and interests of the program participants as a vehicle to assist in their recovery and personal growth. The program has been such a success, it has been expanded throughout the organization for use with both adolescents and adults. Currently the program is offered within all of PFH's SUD programming throughout all 5 states, as well as in select behavioral healthcare programming sites in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. A.R.T.C. has been successfully integrated into over 45 of PFH's service providing programs and continues to expand its reach. Program Director Kasey Harlin said she developed the program at PFH as a way to reach some of her clients who were dealing with substance use disorders. As part of the recovery process, clients need to explore, understand and resolve the issues they are dealing with, but some are not comfortable talking about their feelings in regular therapy sessions. By getting a client involved in a creative process, whether it is creating artwork, music, dancing, photography or writing, they have a greater sense of self-esteem and are more open to talking about their emotions. "It has made a big difference in the recovery process for many of our clients. By capitalizing on their own interests, they are more open to attending and participating in therapy," she explained. "For example, we had one man who was interested in rap music so we had him write and record rap songs to tell his story." "Another man was into football so we had him write his relapse plan as a playbook," she said. "The challenges he could face were the defense, and his plan to face those challenges and stay sober was his offense." One 19-year-old male, dealing with the trauma associated with the recent death of a family member said the program helped him face his addiction and stay sober. "This program allowed me therapeutic gain by letting me digress back into the days when my life was happy, free and fun. It allowed me to escape from my current state of mind. Simple, fun and happy are feelings that I haven't felt in a long time," he said. Harlin noted the program also gives family members an opportunity to see their loved one doing something resourceful and positive, noting it can bring family members closer and aid in the recovery process.