Music Therapy in Addiction Recovery
Music is a powerful medium that is used by people in their everyday lives. It influences the mood and emotions of people; therefore, music allows people to communicate their moods. You can explain your mood using music with a lot of ease. Music therapy is known to help people with addictions utilize music therapy during their recovery process.
The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as a clinical and evidence-based application of music to achieve objectives of a person who is going through a therapeutic relationship by a credited expert. Music therapists go through training to enable them help addicts who need help socially, emotionally, cognitively, developmentally, and physically. A music therapist analyzes the strengths of a client then offers treatment such as singing, listening to music or creating music.
Music Therapy and Addiction
Music therapy is of great value to addicts going through addiction therapy. Even if it cannot help a person to recover fully, music therapy is an important supplement to other addiction treatments. When addicts first become sober, they most likely go through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Therefore, creating music for them helps them to eliminate some of their destructive emotions. It is also used as an enjoyment instead of indulging in drugs.
What Music Therapy Entails
Music therapy involves more than just listening to music. Addiction recovery is addressed by various kinds of music activities. A music therapist will facilitate the activities, and each activity occurs in a therapeutic context with the aim of strengthening abilities and transferring the benefits to a patient. The therapist will use techniques that address the unique needs of the patient. Some of the music therapy activities entail both vocal and instrumental aspects of music. Some of the activities used in addiction therapy include:
• Listening to music
• Music games
• Discussing music
• Analyzing lyrics
• Actively making music
Music therapy allows patients to improve interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and positivity. It is a form of therapy that promotes stress reduction and relaxation, which is crucial for addiction recovery. It also allows patients to examine emotions, increase concentration and build coping and problem-solving strategies.
How music therapy helps in addiction recovery
Enhances ability to identify and accept emotions
When an individual is addicted to alcohol, drugs, or processes, they tend to have defense mechanisms such as lying, rationalizing, denying, and minimizing to go on with their behavior and hide from the emotions. Since music therapy is creative, it contrasts the rigid ways of thinking. Addicts also listen to music, discuss it, and its lyrics helps them to explore emotions and recognize a broad range of emotional states. They access emotional indirectly through music so that they get a more comfortable starting point for them to discuss and accept different feelings.
Most addicts who overcome addiction struggle with low self-esteem after embracing sobriety. Therefore, patients need to increase feelings of self-worth to enable them to recover well and prevent a relapse. Music therapy can help patients achieve this by giving them an outlet to come up with something they feel good about so that they feel proud. Music also enables patients to connect with each other so that they feel they are not alone or so different.
Enhances relaxation and reduces stress
The worst enemy of a recovery addict during addiction recovery is stress. Besides, the main reason why people turn to drugs and addiction is lack of proper stress management and coping skills. Music calms nerves and reduces stress. Therefore, addicts should find music that relaxes them as a secret for recovery. Addicts can adopt singing, writing and learning to play music as a hobby and an outlet to turn to when they are stressed.
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