Music has the innate power to evoke emotion and enhance the lives of humans.  Plus, the social and cognitive benefits of music can soothe or inspire the listener. Listening to music can reduce stress and anxiety, improve motivation and increase confidence and self-esteem. Playing a musical instrument can have similar effects.  Patients in rehab recovery find that music therapy can be an essential tool for building self-assurance and improving health.

As a supplemental therapy used in conjunction with other programs, music therapy offers broad appeal and value for patients in multiple environments and situations.

The Benefits of Music Therapy

Music TherapyAs a formal, professionally administered part of recovery, music therapy is a valued part of many addiction and rehabilitation programs. The encouraging benefits of music allow patients to relax and reflect on their goals.  It also helps build hope for a new type of future.

Music therapists are also health professionals.  They can determine the needs of each client.  Then, they provide therapy to meet those goals. Entering an addiction rehabilitation facility can be frightening and overwhelming for new patients.  But, music can be the key to helping them feel comfortable in a foreign and challenging environment.

The Role of Music Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Rehab centers recognize the value of using music therapy as an addition to counseling and other types of treatment for both inpatient and outpatient programs. Music therapy can evoke memories, promote healing, improve pain and provide relaxation to patients who are stressed and anxious.

Music may also help patients put their emotions, concerns, and wishes into words.  In this way, therapists can more thoroughly identify their comprehensive needs and respond to appropriate treatment plans. Abusing drugs and alcohol can be the result of a lifetime of established patterns and poor choices.  But, music therapy can help to bring these issues to the forefront.

Group Sessions and Private Therapy

Music therapy is well-suited for group therapy sessions, and it can include a wide range of therapeutic options to assist patients with their care and artistic expression. A music therapist asks patients to create a customized soundtrack to improve relaxation.  Patients can also offer instruction on musical instruments or discuss song lyrics that can address deep-seated therapeutic needs.

Relaxing music improves meditation practices. Also, songwriting can help patients to express their thoughts and feelings. Music therapy can be beneficial for all patients, including those with prior music training or talents and those for whom making music is entirely new. Working together in groups may also help patients feel connected to each other, express emotions, improve concentration, and alleviate boredom.

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Music Therapy: Limitations and Assets

Although music therapy alone does not solve issues of addiction and substance abuse, it encourages relaxation and better communication with therapists, family members, and other patients, especially in group settings. Music therapy is used in many types of mental health treatment facilities, and it is also a valued program with different diverse parameters, such as in the corrections systems, schools, or psychiatric hospitals.

Music therapy is a valuable part of any addiction program, and it helps patients feel relaxed and safe so they can focus on recovery. All in all, with the use of music, patients can reduce stress and learn to connect with their emotions, their families, and with each other to gain skills for an improved, healthier lifestyle.

 

Resources:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – The Use of Art and Music Therapy in Addiction Treatment Programs

drugabuse.gov – Understanding Drug Use and Addiction