Have you ever met someone who doesn’t love music? Neither have I. Music is one of the most deeply rooted traditions throughout all of humankind, and all of its history. It brings up deep, visceral emotions for us, it is a free form of music therapy whether we are dancing to it, singing along, or screaming it at the top of our lungs while we cry and drive down the road after a long hard day (or is that just me?)
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It’s no wonder that the last few decades have shown an increased use of music therapy for people of all ages, backgrounds, mental disorder diagnosis, or treatment need. In the world of substance abuse and addiction recovery, music therapy has become an essential tool in the process of whole body and mind treatment.
What is Music Therapy?
By utilizing a wide variety of music-based interventions and therapy in a drug treatment setting, music therapy can effectively address the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of those people who suffer from substance abuse disorder as well as any co-occurring mental disorders.
Let’s Get Physical: The early stages of detox can bring on a lot of unpleasant sensations in the body. Over time, we go through Post Acute Withdrawal which can have some effect on people’s hand-eye coordination, basic motor functioning, etc.
- Playing Music = Shaking that Butt = activating those motor functions and getting that body in line with the head… or out of line, depending on how you get down!
Sweet Emotion: Similarly, a lot of us are going to take some work at digging back into our emotions, figuring out what they are, or even feeling them at all. Music is 100% guaranteed to be nostalgic, thought-provoking, anger filling, tear-jerking, or joy enveloping.
- Playing Music = Feeling Emotion = Talking about what it brings up for you in the group
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright: Again, it’s going to take some time to get our brain functioning back to 100% (if ever at all, am I right?) and music interacts in the brain so beautifully to help get those gears working.
- Watch this Video and you’ll see what I’m saying!
Getting those brain functions jump-started early on in treatment can only bring about even more development, but be aware – since music brings up emotion, you WILL feel things you may not want to, but if you are in treatment, you are in the perfect setting to talk about those feelings 🙂
Psychosocial: (that’s a Slipknot reference… best I could do here guys) If you have ever played an instrument, gone to a concert, or just enjoyed listening to music with others, you will understand the benefits of music therapy in a group setting. It gives us something to talk about, compare, debate, and appreciate with others.
So, long story short, there are a whole bunch of benefits to music therapy, especially in relation to substance abuse treatment. Not only does it help the person and the brain kickstart some awesome motor functioning, but it has a whole bunch of benefits to the overall frame of mind that a person can be in. It is therapeutic for everyone in so many different ways such as
- Increase natural relaxation response
- Incorporate healthy emotional and mood responses
- Alleviate boredom and isolation
- Works great in conjunction with other alternative programs such as exercise like yoga and art therapy like writing or drawing.
Boredom is a Killer
One of the biggest relapse triggers known to people in early recovery is boredom. When we get bored, especially if we are alone, our wheels start turning, we get antsy, and if we don’t have something productive to fill that time, many people can start to go back to their old behaviors, even if it is looking for romantic flings, stealing, or just causing trouble.
Music therapy is awesome because it can teach and inspire people about how to get through those weird emotional places, with a free and always on hand method of action. When we get bored, we can pick up an instrument, make a drum out of anything, start singing our favorite song or make playlists to listen to. Finding or making music is such a great way to pass the time, mostly because it brings up that emotional and mental stimulant that many of us are itching for.
What Music Therapy Will Look Like at Treatment
While anyone can enjoy music, we employ professional and credentialed therapists to guide you through the music therapy program. Before you even begin working through this method of treatment, the music therapy staff will conduct a proper and thorough assessment that will gauge your unique treatment needs and build a specified music-based intervention around what will suit you best.
If you used to play an instrument and want to get back into it, or would like to learn something new, or have never touched an instrument in your life and just want to create an awesome playlist that speaks to your soul, the music therapy program will use these methods, and sometimes even combine them with other creative therapy options like art therapy.
Whether you want to listen to classical, big band swing, hardcore, punk rock, or hip-hop, we promote growing through music by finding out WHY what you like speaks to you so much, and how you can promote the utilization of that tool in the future, when you have graduated from the program and are out living your normal life.
Probably the coolest thing about music therapy is the diverse aspect it can have in your everyday life. Unlike one on one therapy, or EMDR therapy, music therapy can be something that you can utilize anywhere that you have access to music, your voice, or anything you can turn into an instrument. You can find that solitude that comes from music while you’re at work, at school, at the airport, or anywhere you find that you need a little mental rest and relaxation.
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If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or addiction, understand that you are not alone in your struggles! If you are ready to change your life and finally be free of your addiction, then FindAddictionRehabs.com can help. We can give you the jump start you need in order to experience the recovery you have always wanted. Our holistic programs are unique in that they don’t just treat the addiction, but rather they treat the whole person, so if you are interested in finding out more information, please do not hesitate to give us a call today at 1-877-959-7271.