Most people know that both children and adults with learning or developmental disabilities can benefit from music therapy. However, what isn’t as widely known is that music therapy has other proven applications as well. One area where music therapy has been proven effective is in the treatment of substance abuse.
How Does Music Therapy Work?
The core of music therapy is in utilizing sound theory and applying music to different treatment settings. This makes it possible for therapists to open lines of communication as well as create emotional states that aren’t accessible through conversations.
Through this activity, therapists are able to assess cognitive skills, communication abilities, emotional well-being and social aptitude. By using the insights gained from music therapy, treatment can then be tailored in a way that maximizes its effectiveness for an individual’s needs.
Benefits of Music Therapy
An academic study by the American Music Therapy Association found numerous benefits of music therapy. After compiling data from over twenty research efforts, the study found music therapy helps increase motivation. It improves self-esteem and self-image, as well as patients’ ability to express thoughts and emotions.
The study also found this form of therapy plays a key role in helping people recognize and understand different kinds of feelings. In terms of addiction, this can be essential for someone to gain insight into what triggers their addiction and causes them to walk a self-destructive path.
Music therapy was also found to have a very soothing impact on mood. Not only does it decrease overall agitation and anxiety, but it can help reduce someone’s muscle tension. It also helps increase individuals’ comfort when they’re participating in a group setting.
The interpersonal benefits of music therapy extend outside of group treatment settings. Because it can make it easier for people to verbalize their true feelings, they can take this skill with them and use it in their daily lives.
The Role of Music Therapy in Treating Substance Abuse
Thanks to the proven effectiveness and wide range of benefits that music therapy offers, it can serve as a key component in any substance abuse treatment process that focuses on holistic rehab. When someone first begins rehab, it’s common for him or her to experience emotions that are all over the map. Music therapy can help them gain greater insight into their feelings and why they’re actually experiencing them.
Different types of music can also help people learn how to meditate and embrace this practice. Because meditation offers another avenue for self-reflection and awareness, it can be especially powerful for helping people understand the true cause of their addiction.
Music therapy can also help reduce the loneliness many people feel as they work towards breaking their cycle of addiction. And since music therapy can increase motivation, it’s also useful to help substance abuse patients lift their spirits and want to focus on channeling their energy into positive activities.
By taking advantage of everything that music therapy has to offer, holistic treatment facilities can provide their patients with the absolute best and most effective treatment possible.
Guest Post: Adrienne is a blogger interested especially in music and promotion and how music therapy can be a part of holistic rehab . If you are interested in reading more of her work, follow her on Twitter @adrienneerin.