There is so much pain that we experience throughout our lives, yet many of us haven’t been taught healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with these challenging, heartbreaking situations. We spend months, sometimes years, searching for something that will ease the discomfort that we’re feeling; we begin abusing alcohol or drugs to numb the pain and take away the agony – and while it seems to work temporarily, the reality is that over time, we find that we’re not able to get rid of the hurt completely. If you’re ready to dive into some creative, holistic approaches to healing in addiction recovery, you’ll find that music therapy is worth looking into.
On the surface, music therapy may be depicted as simply listening to music and finding relief from it; while this could certainly be true, it takes a much stronger precedent in addiction recovery. In fact, music therapy could be defined as a health profession where music is used for therapeutic healing – to address cognitive, emotional issues, physical concerns, and social needs of people in recovery.
While addiction recovery is certainly the main focus of treatment, music therapy can also tend to the unique needs of individuals such as those with emotional or behavioral concerns, depression, anxiety, and other related issues. Music therapy is holistically a creative process that could involve more than simply listening to music, but could also involve activities like creating songs, singing, dancing, interpreting the lyrics to songs, and so much more.
Music therapy truly provides a unique mode of communication in which those in recovery can discover some of the core beliefs they’ve picked up throughout their lives – and even for instances in which it’s difficult to talk about, music can bring out important messages through emotion.
Music therapy sessions are always led by a licensed therapist, and it often begins with the therapist trying to get ot know the client a bit better and what their needs are. From there, a variety of activities may be scheduled over a longer period of time and the therapist and client may work together to break through some of the things that have been holding them back – even some post-traumatic growth periods of triumph may occur.
Previous studies have found that unique treatment approaches, such as songwriting and lyric analyses, can bring about emotional changes in patients by giving them time to think and reflect on not only the songs and their meaning but also on what they’ve personally gone through – and sometimes greater insight is gained from it. The willingness itself to participate in music therapy offers clients in recovery with a powerful opportunity to harness what they’ve gone through and redefine their story – or, at a fundamental level, to understand what they’ve been going through a little better.
Despite many people’s views that music therapy is simply about “strumming a guitar,” it goes beyond that to provide more deeply connected tools for a person, that can be used to gain greater meaning from pain or to help individuals like family members heal from painful situations.
Music therapy sessions tend to have a therapeutic component that involves a sort of structure or system that the therapist and client set in place, but they also have a portion of therapy that involves direct application of music to bring thoughts, feelings, and emotions to life.
Everyone’s experience in music therapy will be different – but for many, the journey is worthwhile. Many people in music therapy treatment fear that they need to be an “artist” or to have musical talent, but that’s not the case. In fact, even a person with no musical ability can benefit from music therapy because it’s more about emotional healing than it is about the practicality of being able to play or interpret music.
There are several benefits that can derive from music therapy, such as a person being able to have a sense of community and understanding as others may be involved as well. Music therapy can help create positive rifts in the way a person views themselves, especially as they discover that they’re not alone in recovery. Music therapy can also help promote self-discovery and release tension that may be held inside; in most cases, music therapy has a wonderful effect on addiction recovery and can foster safe opportunities to work through a variety of feelings. If you’re ready to seek help, speak with a professional from Avalon Malibu today.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 844-857-5992 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.