While no stand-alone tool in addiction therapy is likely to provide a “cure-all,” and no recovery facility would expect such, music exploration therapy as part of an overall addiction recovery program can be a useful and rewarding tool.
Here is how music therapy may be useful in beating addiction.
Music historians speculate that as long as there have been human beings, there has been music. Music predates written language, and may even predate verbal communication. One of the first things that a newborn will respond to, and may also respond to while in utero, is music. So it really should not be a surprise that music is powerful.
Music exploration therapy provides an emotional outlet for expression or emotional support. Music with words may speak what the listener cannot say for themselves, and music with or without words can soothe the soul.
That is likely because music does seem to affect the autonomic nervous system. It has been used to calm stress, treat Parkinson’s disease, reduce pain, bridge language barriers, help rehabilitate prisoners or refugees and many, many other ways, including assisting in addiction recovery.
Music exploration therapy may include:
Different classes and different instructors will utilize music differently as part of the therapeutic process, but most music exploration therapy involves some combination of those features.
Like art therapy and the protest, “But I am not an artist! ” some people will express concern that they are not musicians. Fortunately, you do not have to be. For one, music can be taught. Just as anyone can learn to play baseball, even if you never make it to the major leagues, with enough practice anyone can learn to make music (especially with the right teacher). But all you have to have to participate in a music therapy exploration is an interest.
But all you have to have to participate in a music therapy exploration is an interest. Music therapy can be as simple as listening to music, which only requires the ability to hear (and there are even rhythm-based and touch-based music exploration methods for the deaf, so even hearing is not a prerequisite).
Music exploration therapy can indeed provide an outlet for those who have always wanted to create music or do have some musical talent, but it is far from required. Some people even surprise themselves and discover they do have a love for creating music, but again, it is not necessary to participate in therapy classes.
Just as the right exercise music may help you run a little further or lift a little harder, the right recovery music can inspire you to get started on the road to recovery. What speaks to people may differ substantially: the sound of water may soothe some, and quick rap communicates to another. There are as many musical outlets as there are individuals to experience them.
Those who participate in music exploration therapy report decreased stress, reduced anxiety, frustration or depression, increased socialization, or improved self-esteem or motivation. It can, therefore, increase the effectiveness of treatment, and possibly even assist with persistence and longevity in treatment, sobriety, and recovery.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, consider music exploration therapy as part of the right treatment program. You can stop the cycle of addiction. Contact us, and we will help you see how.