Music therapy has become more and more popular, as with many other alternative forms of healing modalities. Music therapy might be defined as a clinical use of music to accomplish personal goals within a therapeutic environment. It includes playing music or creating music in order to help manage physical, emotional, or cognitive challenges. This article will explore music therapy within the context of addiction treatment.
Typically, a music therapist is trained to use music with their clients in order to bring about change. Often, music therapy involves listening to music, but in many cases, it can involve the client in creating his or her own music. In fact, artistic expression can be incredibly rewarding. You can get deeply in touch with yourself and enjoy the pleasure of self-expression. When you are creative, you have the opportunity to get in touch with what’s inside of you. You can access what you want to express, including what you need to express but haven’t had the courage to do so.
For many people, the most challenging part of including creativity and other fulfilling activities in their day is just simply getting started, which is why a music therapist might be useful for someone who enjoys music.
The benefits of music therapy include:
- Reduces levels of stress.
- Encourages the relaxation response.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Lessens symptoms of depression.
- Elicits positive emotions.
- Can become a coping tool for challenging moments.
- Elicits creativity and inspiration in someone.
- Fosters optimism.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Promotes overall healing.
- Improves levels of concentration.
- Can reduce muscle tension.
- Can be used to help manage chronic pain – instead of drugs and alcohol.
- Can be used as an antidote to boredom. (Boredom can often prompt people to drink or use drugs.)
- Can facilitate an emotional release.
- Can be used as a tool in recovery.
- Can be used to elicit positive memories.
It should be made clear that music therapy alone might not be enough to facilitate sobriety. It’s important to have the right levels of support for such a change. Typically, in order to get sober and put an end to addiction, a therapist, doctor, and psychologist are needed to address the physical, emotional, and psychological experiences of early recovery. Despite this, music therapy can be used as a great supplemental therapeutic tool, providing the many benefits listed above. However, to get the most out of a music therapy session, it’s best to work with a qualified professional who has been trained in the use of music for healing.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, contact a mental health provider for assistance. Once that person is in addiction treatment, music therapy might be included to further facilitate sobriety and healing. In fact, it’s not necessary to have any type of music ability to benefit from this form of treatment. If you have an affinity toward music, this form of therapy might be the perfect addition to addiction treatment.