Approaching a challenge as serious as substance use through conventional means alone can sometimes fall short. Gaining creative coping skills, however, may just be the missing ingredient that allows you to take back agency and joy in your life. If you or your loved one is working to overcome substance use, remember that holistic approaches like music therapy can make a great addition to conventional treatment.
In the heart of one of the world’s music capitals, Nashville Treatment Solutions offers a Nashville addiction therapy program that includes such approaches. Call us today at 866.714.5630 or reach out online to discuss how music therapy could aid your recovery.
What Makes Music Therapy for Addiction So Effective?
Music therapy can take many forms, including singing, playing an instrument, or engaging with music that’s already been written. One of the best things about music therapy is that no prior musical background is needed in order to benefit. This evidence-based treatment model truly takes clients where they are and gives them tools for coping with stress, expressing their inner experiences, and fostering healthy relationships.
Here are just a few benefits those in recovery stand to gain from music therapy:
- In a group setting, clients may gain an experience of a cooperative, substance-free community. People creating music together can often come to care for one another in ways tough to find anywhere else. This is true whether the music is vocal, instrumental, digital, or some combination.
- In an individual or group setting that involves learning a vocal technique or instrument, clients gain purpose and commitment. This can be a game-changer for those in recovery because it distracts from cravings and withdrawal symptoms. At the same time, it generates self-esteem and gives clients a positive focus.
- Clients’ ability to express their thoughts and emotions in a constructive way often grows. This is the case because music approaches the human mind and heart in a non-confrontational way. It provides the opportunity to examine and even experience emotions and thoughts as an artistic object, removed from oneself. This distancing effect can make room for more compassion for both clients’ own and others’ experiences expressed in art.
- Music informs mood, and this gives clients significant tools for self-regulation. Anyone who listens to music regularly knows that certain songs can make you feel specific emotions. In therapy, clients learn to mindfully listen to or make music when difficult emotions or cravings arise. This gives them great agency in the recovery process.
What Happens During a Music Therapy Session?
While effective music therapy is always tailored to individual clients’ needs, there are several techniques that clinicians typically employ. One of the most approachable is active music listening, in which clients benefit from music’s mood-altering properties. Repetition and rhythm, two key components of most musical compositions, can profoundly impact the neocortex of the brain. Music therapists can use this fact to help clients in agitated moods find a sense of calm.
In another listening-based approach, clients analyze the lyrics of existing songs. By talking about the meaning they take away from someone else’s creation, clients are often able to subtly but effectively approach difficult topics in their own lives. Again, the therapist’s involvement in guiding selections and conversation is key to success in this modality.
Music therapy can take a more active approach in the form of techniques like improvisation, instrument study, and songwriting. Again, commitment to advanced technical study isn’t the point unless it truly serves the client. The through-line behind all active music therapy techniques is healthy self-expression. Making music generates feelings of self-worth, pride, competence, and motivation. Doing so in a group adds cooperation, communication, and shared understanding to the mix.
Enroll in a Music Therapy Program in Nashville, TN Today
The road to recovery from addiction is never easy, but creativity and expression are here to help. Music therapy is a gift that keeps on giving long after clients conclude their recovery programs. Once you’ve added music to your tool kit for self-regulation and personal care, you’ll have a go-to strategy for life. Send us a message or call 866.714.5630 to discuss music therapy at Nashville Treatment Solutions today.