Music therapy has been utilized for addiction and mental health recovery for several years. Typically, this treatment consists of lyrical analysis, instrument playing, listening to music, and composing music. In many cases, these aspects of music therapy can truly ground clients amidst the chaos – providing them with a chance to further discover who they are, what they want out of life, and enhanced ways to connect with others.
What is Music Therapy?
Previous sources have explained that music therapy is “the clinical and evidence-based use of musical interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” Altogether, music therapy can address the genuine mental, physical and spiritual concerns that a person may have. Understanding what music therapy is and how it can benefit your life, can be incredibly useful in the decision to add this type of treatment to your program.
As clients work in music therapy, their therapists assess their emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication skills, and cognitive skills through musical response. Therapists will often design music sessions involving music improvisation, receptive music listening, songwriting, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music. As a non-invasive form of treatment, music therapy can help transform people’s lives in beautiful ways.
Previous studies have found that music improves the body’s immune system and reduces stress. Even before receiving surgery, music therapy can lower the heart rate and blood pressure and relax the body. Music therapy can also benefit a person no matter their age, and it doesn’t matter if an individual considers themselves musically talented. After all, the goal isn’t to become a music connoisseur but to feel more comfortable and confident in recovery.
How Music Therapy Affects Us
For years, scientists have found that human beings are rhythmic. Our heartbeat, breathing, and brain waves are all moving to a particular pattern. Our brain and nervous system are constructed to identify music as separate from noise. We can respond to rhythm and repetition, tones, and tunes.
Music therapy has been shown to help stroke victims, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, acute and chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
Through music therapy, we can benefit from three main things:
- Being with others – engaging in something that connects one another and provides a shared sense of community really helps uplift those in recovery to feel a part of something larger than themselves.
- Feeling heard – it’s nice to feel like a person isn’t being judged – and music therapy can promote these types of feelings as it’s not about “talent” or “skill” but healing and recovery.
- Having a sense of purpose – it helps to know that other people are going through painful situations. Music therapy can bring that sense of purpose in life by allowing individuals to reflect on what they have to offer to the world.
These benefits can result in some remarkable transformations. Music therapy also makes it easier for a person in recovery to relate to others and the world at large. Music is a universal practice that anyone can relate to. Sometimes, working through music can help people understand what they’ve gone through by feeling it through instruments played, the sincerity of a person’s voice when singing, or singing how they feel themselves.
Music Therapy: A Powerful Tool Against Addiction
Addiction can cause a person to feel hopeless, alone, and confused. It’s not uncommon for those in recovery to question their direction. Music therapy can affect us in ways that promote growth and healing and develop more reliable connections with those around us.
For those who engage with music therapy, thoughts may change from depression, anxiety, and confusion to some of the following outlooks on life:
“I have a lot to offer to this world.”
“There are many opportunities out there for me.”
“I am excited to see where this path takes me.”
In addition to music therapy, those in recovery can add several holistic treatment options to their recovery. Yoga, meditation, art therapy, massage therapy, and more can also be incredibly beneficial for healing and rejuvenation. Recovery takes some time, but hard work and dedication will make it all worth it.
Music therapy is just one of many tools that can be used in early recovery. A lot of us think of early recovery as a cookie-cutter program. Everyone gets into a basketball gym or church, sits in a circle, and takes turns sharing their sad life story. Then, everyone drinks coffee and complains about their family or their job. While this might be the image we’re presented with in the media, Rancho Milagro Recovery wants you to know that this doesn’t have to be your experience. Early recovery can be a lively and dynamic experience, as you’re surrounded by like-minded individuals and immersed in a reactive and tailored therapeutic journey. Whether music therapy, art therapy, or animal therapy is your thing – you’ll find it on offer here. Our trained and experienced therapists and 24/7 staff are always on hand to make sure your experience in early recovery is as enjoyable and comfortable as it can be. More importantly, we’ll make sure you have access to the tools you need to be successful in building a foundation for lifelong recovery. If you’re ready to make the biggest decision of your life, give us a call today at (951) 526-4582.