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What Is Music Therapy?

What Is Music Therapy? | Just Believe Recovery PA

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Music therapy is a type of creative expression often employed in addiction rehab programs as an alternative treatment. Music therapy interventions are also used in various other clinical environments to improve participants’ overall functioning and mental well-being.

This form of therapy often elicits positive results among those who have trouble expressing themselves in traditional ways or don’t fully benefit from other recovery options. Music therapy involves much more than merely listening to music to improve mood. It is an excellent way to express oneself artistically that allows an individual to interact with others unconventionally. Anyone can participate, and a background in music is not needed.

Music therapy helps people do the following:

  • Explore emotions and self-esteem
  • Improve positivity
  • Empower oneself through success
  • Improve self-knowledge
  • Increase focus and concentration
  • Develop coping skills and problem-solving strategies
  • Improve mindfulness and relaxation techniques
  • Enhance interpersonal skills

Music Therapy for Teens and Young Adults

Teenagers and young adults may be exceptionally responsive to music therapy due to the amount of time they spend listening to music. For this reason, addiction treatment centers with a high percentage of adolescents are more likely to use music therapy.

Studies have shown that addicted adolescents in clinical environments are able to develop a more positive self-image and identity through music therapy. Moreover, these interventions allow teens to become less isolated and healthily express themselves.

Music Therapy Activities

Certified music therapists make use of techniques that work to promote positive changes in a person’s life by addressing his or her individual needs. Music therapy activities may be related to all aspects of music, both instrumental and vocal, such as the following:

  • Listening to music
  • Actively creating music
  • Playing music with others
  • Discussing music
  • Interpreting music
  • Songwriting
  • Music-related games
  • Improvising

There are two primary forms of music therapy—active and passive. In active music therapy, persons actively engage in creating music vocally or with instruments, or other objects. Passive music therapy consists of people engaging in a relaxing activity such as coloring while listening to music. Both types have been proven to reduce heart rate and improve mental wellness in those who participate, which can reduce the risk of relapse.

Benefits of Music Therapy In Addiction Treatment

Other benefits of music therapy may include the following:

  • Reduced depression
  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Increased natural endorphins
  • Brain stimulation
  • Improved self-awareness
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Better emotional control
  • Overall improvement in mood

What Is Music Therapy? | Just Believe Recovery PA

Music Therapy Helps with Other Disorders

Many individuals who suffer from addiction have a co-occurring condition, such as depression or anxiety. These comorbid diagnoses are often big contributors to drug addiction problems or manifest as a result of substance abuse. Regardless of the reason why the other disorder exists, rehab programs must address both issues concurrently.

Music therapy has been clinically shown to be beneficial for the treatment of anxiety, depression, mental illness, behavioral issues, and chronic pain.

Types of Music and Benefits

Musical taste can be uniquely personal. For most of us, specific songs and artists, in particular, have touched our lives and resonate strongly.

There are certain styles and forms of musical activity that can offer benefits, including the following:

Blues – Blues is a popular music style that can help us accept the losses that have resulted from our substance abuse. What’s more, it can improve impaired motor function by stimulating the cerebellum.

Songwriting and Lyric Analysis – Writing or analyzing lyrics composed by others can foster honesty within ourselves by asking us to confront our own truths about life, relationships, and emotional dependencies.

Drumming – Studies have shown that organized drumming, such as drum circles, can promote relaxation and improve brain-wave synchronization. It can also help reduce emotional trauma and foster self-reintegration.

Music Therapy is Fun – A study from the University of Queensland revealed that people who participate in cognitive-behavioral therapy for substance abuse also really enjoy music therapy. According to the study, one of the greatest hurdles that rehab centers face is finding ways to engage those who seek treatment that encourages them to keep coming back.

This study describes a 7-week music therapy trial as an addition to group cognitive-behavioral therapy to increase patient engagement in a private hospital open group program.

Findings included a 75% attendance rate throughout the program, with more than 80% of the participants stating that they would go through the program again. When evaluating motivation and overall enjoyment of the program, participants rated their experience as at least four out of five.

Moreover, nearly half of the study participants stated that the music aspect made them feel as though they were part of the group. It is believed that this feeling of acceptance and shared expression can inspire people in recovery to keep continuing their treatment.

Getting Help for Addiction

Just Believe Recovery is a licensed, specialized treatment center that offers comprehensive treatment services in partial hospitalization and inpatient formats.

Please contact us today if you or someone you love is ready to leave addiction behind for life!

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