Music therapy is an experiential, evidence-based therapy that has shown proven success in treating addiction when used in conjunction with other traditional approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Music therapy helps encourage emotional, physical, and spiritual healing among those individuals recovering from addiction. During a session, for example, a music therapist will identify the strengths of each client to provide the right course of care, which may include singing, creating music, or simply moving or listening to music.
During the musical exercises that the therapist chooses for the clients, he or she will also use therapeutic methods to help individuals take what they have learned in music therapy and apply it to their personal recovery.
Among the ways that individuals can continue to apply music therapy to their lives include meditation with music, learning to play an instrument, writing songs, and creating playlists for their listening pleasure.
Music therapy can help those who are recovering from addiction in many ways:
When an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she can become isolated and defensive and start manipulating others or being deceitful in an attempt to keep using. However, when the system is rid of intoxicating substances and these dysfunctional behaviors start subsiding, music therapy can begin to help people recognize the emotions they are feeling and continue to unveil their current emotional state as it applies to their addiction and recovery.
Playing, writing, and listening to music probe into a person’s emotions. As music therapy is employed in one’s life, he or she can begin using it as a method of self-expression. For instance, when a person is upset over something related to his or her emotional state, he or she can use music as a means to release that feeling so that it can be properly managed.
Most people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol struggle with problems related to self-esteem. In fact, a lack of self-esteem can be among the main factors that contribute to addiction. By using music therapy, however, individuals can improve their self-esteem by learning how to play an instrument or finding ways to express them musically.
Like music therapy, art therapy helps individuals express themselves, delve into their emotions, and build self-confidence. This is accomplished, by engaging in and creating several different forms of art. The focus of this kind of therapy is to offer the individual the opportunity to better communicate his or her emotions, wants, and needs.
Art therapy sessions may include a wide variety of art in which people can engage. Among the most common art therapy activities include drawing, painting, and sculpting. Art therapy is held in a group setting, allowing individuals to gather together and express themselves through a different medium.
Art therapy can result in multiple therapeutic benefits for the participants, ranging from the development of social skills to the exploration of deep emotions.
Art therapy allows individuals the opportunity to identify addictive behaviors and express how they relate to their lives by creating art. For instance, a person can paint a self-portrait to illustrate feelings regarding the addictive behaviors he or she still battles. Then by discussing the self-portrait, an art therapist can help the individual sort out those emotions in ways that foster healing.
Art therapy can also rewire the brain, so to speak, through engagement in a creative activity such as sculpting or drawing. Moreover, those who suffer from anxiety can turn to art as a way to relax so that symptoms related to anxiety can be mitigated.
Art therapy can also reduce stress, as channeling energy into a therapeutic activity can help foster mindfulness, a practice that is designed to decrease stress.
If you are battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please do not let another day go by without seeking the help you deserve. Contact us now to begin the journey towards recovery!