Music therapy may be an effective complementary treatment for people recovering from addiction. It is led by a someone trained in music therapy and is meant to be part of a comprehensive treatment program. Music therapy has been shown to be most effective for people who don’t respond well to other forms of treatment. It may be especially helpful for teens. What’s more, music can be part of a long-term recovery strategy and not just the initial therapy. Learning to use music can be an asset for the rest of your life. For some aspects of music therapy, it may help to have some background in music, but it’s not necessary. Some typical activities include listening to music, analyzing lyrics, discussing music, and playing music games. It may also involve writing songs, making music, and improvising. Obviously, the more musical training you have, the more expressive you can be, but learning musical skills and expanding your talents can also be a valuable part of treatment. Music is helpful in treatment because it is so versatile. Different songs can change your emotional state in an instant. The right kind of music can cheer you up, calm you down, inspire, or devastate you. Music can be challenging or cathartic. When you’re in recovery and your emotions are all over the place, it helps to have more tools for managing your emotional state. Paying attention to how you respond emotionally to different music is key for using it to your advantage. Music is also a means of self-expression. And you don’t have to be Beethoven or Leonard Cohen to express yourself musically. You don’t even have to be a musician. What kind of music you like, and even what kind of music you don’t like says a lot about you and your state of mind. Exploring why certain songs strike a chord, while others just irritate you can give you valuable insight into your thinking. And as many songs are ambiguous, even your interpretations can be revealing. Not only can you understand yourself better through music, but you can also express yourself. Music may help you share feelings that are either too vague or painful to articulate. Expressing yourself more accurately makes therapy more effective. Just as music can be powerful for healing, it can work against you. A lot of your favorite music may be closely associated with drugs or alcohol and therefore might act like a trigger. Other music is explicitly about drugs and alcohol and may stir cravings. It’s important to always be mindful of what kind of stimuli you expose yourself to. When deciding what to listen to, always ask, “Will this help me heal?” If so, go for it.
If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, we can help. Recovery Ways is a leading addiction treatment provider with an excellent recovery rate. Our expert staff includes masters and PhD level therapists and board certified addiction psychiatrists. Our comfortable facilities will help to make your treatment as enjoyable as possible and our therapists use proven techniques like sensory integration and recreation therapy to help to engage the world without the assistance of drugs or alcohol. Call us today at 1-888-986-7848 or email us through our contact page to learn more.