How music and recovery go hand in hand
Music allows us to express feelings we can not otherwise express. Music has a sense of anonymity because no two peole have to feel or think the same thing when listening to a piece of music. Music is powerful. It stirs up hidden emotions, brings forth memories, and allows us to process and release aggression, grief, desperation, and joy. Music has increased recovery from addiction and various mental illnesses as well as aiding those suffering from Alzheimers, Parkinsons, strokes, and other medical ailments.
Many treatment centers have turned toward incorporating music and art therapy into their standards with positive results. The specific treatment center I attended in January and February of this year utilized music therapy. Each one of us “clients” had different reactions to different music and we were all able to relate to each other in some way. The lyrics always opened up new dialogue and allowed all of us to see new perspectives and learn and grow.
Music therapy works in addiction recovery through a therapist developed treatment plan. This includes music making practices along with counseling, psychotherapy, and other forms of evidence-based treatments, to ensure a well-rounded approach to the recovery of addiction.
Hearing the light
Music is a form of creative self-expression and often allows the user to communicate in a non-conventional manner. Many recovering addicts and alcoholics are often filled with shame and guilt and have years of built up blockages that prevent them from positively expressing themselves.
Music therapy helps users, especially through music that is nostalgic for them, identify and cope with any past emotional trauma, and process it with a therapist or group facilitator. It allows users to:
- Examine emotions and self-esteem.
- Enhance positivity.
- Empower themselves through success.
- Improve self-awareness.
- Increase attention and concentration.
- Build coping and problem-solving strategies.
- Enhance mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
- Improve interpersonal skills.
To the beat of a different drum
Here are a few selections to enjoy. Please comment below with suggestions for the next Monday Music Therapy post and include any comments of what these songs mean for you.