They say that music has the power to soothe the savage beast. Almost everyone can attest to how a song can alter their mood or improve their frame of mind. Music therapy taps into the power of music to assist in the healing process. It has been known to positively affect relaxation, breathing rate, pain management and anxiety.
What Is Music Therapy?
The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.”
Music therapy has helped people of all ages. The therapeutic use of music has been shown to help people manage emotional, physical and cognitive problems, including individuals with developmental and learning disabilities, mental health needs, Alzheimer’s disease and other aging related conditions, brain injuries, physical disabilities, acute or chronic pain and substance abuse problems.
Beachway Therapy Center offers music therapy, as well as other holistic therapy services to help people from across the country achieve lifelong sobriety. We have been independently rated by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) as being among the top 1% of addiction treatment centers in the U.S.
What Does Music Therapy Do?
A comprehensive music therapy program created and implemented by an accredited music therapist can offer:
- Reduced anxiety and stress levels
- Improved emotional states and the ability to positively affect one’s mood
- Improvements in physiological states, such as reduced heart rate, lower blood
- pressure and relaxed muscle tension
- A greater sense of control, empowerment, and self-confidence
- A non-verbal outlet for the expression of feelings linked to past trauma
- Active participation in the treatment process
- Meaningful time spent with others in a positive and creative environment
- Greater emotional intimacy with others
- New coping skills to deal with emotions, which may return later in everyday life
Music Therapy in the Treatment of Alcohol and Drug Addiction
Music can be very powerful. A trained music therapist knows how to harness that power effectively to support patients undergoing addiction treatment. They can personalize a therapy strategy for each client when they first meet. Music therapy usually includes listening to music as well as creating it in one form or another.
On the journey to recovery, music can be a very useful tool. In the early stages of sobriety, people often feel a wide range of emotions. Music can help to purge some of the negative emotions and serve as a mode of expressing feelings. It can also help to improve concentration and cognitive abilities, particularly during the early stages when the mind can be quite foggy.
It’s important to remember that for those who are newly sober, some music is best to be avoided. If certain songs are closely associated in their minds with abusing drugs or alcohol, listening to them could trigger specific memories and risk a relapse. It may be possible to replace the old memories associated with those songs with new, fresh and positive ones; however, it may be better to leave that until the individual’s sobriety is more securely established. In the meantime, there will be lots of other kinds of music to discover and enjoy.
Coping Strategies Gained Through Music Therapy for Addiction
Studies have shown that music therapy for addiction can have therapeutic benefits even outside of structured therapy settings. Thanks to its familiarity, predictability and the feelings of security associated with it, music provokes emotional and physical responses in people. Caregivers and relief workers have reported that music therapy helped patients feel more ready to cope with the stresses of daily life and possible future crises.
Music therapy can help patients undergoing addiction treatment to develop coping strategies to deal with some of the hurdles they may face including improving their self-confidence and security, understanding and dealing with feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, and improving their ability to achieve a state of relaxation.
Later on, stress, loneliness, and boredom can all be triggers for relapse. Creating or listening to music can be a great stress reliever and help alleviate one’s feelings of boredom or loneliness.
What Happens In A Group Music Therapy Session?
Group music therapy for addiction sessions can include many different activities related to music, each offering its own set of benefits. They can include:
- Songwriting and composition as a means to boost self-confidence and a way to express emotions
- Improvisational use of musical instruments to promote the creative process, emotional expression and improved confidence
- Guided meditations to help cope with feelings of anxiety, anger and fear
- Analysis of lyrics in patients’ favorite songs as a means of emotional expression
- Muscle relaxation techniques with soothing music to reduce the feelings of anxiety stress and fear often associated with from a crisis
Part of a Comprehensive Treatment Program
Music therapy can be a great resource for individuals seeking to overcome their addictions. On its own, however, it is unlikely to be sufficient to achieve successful lifelong sobriety. At Beachway Therapy Center, we believe that the best way for a patient to become successful is through a comprehensive program, tailored to each individual that includes traditional one-on-one therapy sessions, counseling, positive group work as well as other holistic therapies such as art therapy, equine therapy, psychodrama therapy, and music therapy.
Turn Your Life Around
If you’re interested in finding out more about how our music therapy for addiction program can help you or a loved one regain control of a healthy and sober life, call us now at 877-284-0353. The counselors at Beachway Therapy Center are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to speak with you. They can answer any questions you may have about music therapy or any of our other treatment services.
Located in beautiful South Florida and surrounded by picturesque scenery, our facilities offer luxurious amenities that are second to none. Thousands of people from across the country have found healing in the peaceful and supportive atmosphere at Beachway Therapy Center, and you can too. Contact us today for more information.