Music Therapy for AddictionCamila Archuleta
The mind is a complex organ that can heal, perform complex functions, create electricity, form thoughts, and communicate on levels of consciousness that we cannot even fathom as physical beings. Because we use so little of our brains, there is so much that’s not understood about this organ and how we actually use it.
One of the most amazing things about our brain is how it picks up signals and information, using these elements in ways that benefit us, often without our knowledge. Our brain conducts more subliminal processes daily for us to grasp, operating hundreds of times faster than the most powerful computer processor.
One of the best examples of how the brain processes signals and sounds of healing are music therapy. For hundreds of years, man has been aware of the power of sounds and noise and how our brains react to them.
Keep reading to find out more about how our programs use music therapy at Icarus Behavioral Health, and what makes it such an effective and evidence-based practice in treating addiction.
The Roots of Music Therapy
Even plants react to music therapy, often growing larger and putting off a more substantial harvest when exposed to specific musical scores and sound patterns. Our favorite songs put us in good moods, which most people think of when they hear the term music therapy.
However, music therapy goes much deeper than our surface mood. Different soundwaves and frequencies emit different responses from our minds and bodies, and when played, they can produce healing effects for other systems.
Another form of music therapy aims to connect individuals and their communities to replace the happiness lost during substance abuse. This form is highly well-reviewed, producing solid results among holistic treatment facilities.
In this article, we’ll discuss music therapy further and examine how this form of therapy exists within the context of substance abuse treatment.
What Is Music Therapy
There is a significant difference between music as therapy and music as entertainment. A music therapy program is specifically developed to meet the needs and preferences of each client. Music therapy is an evidence-based therapeutic practice.
In a variety of therapeutic settings, such as a rehab center, music therapy provides physical, emotional, social, and cognitive benefits. It is beneficial in treating the following issues:
- Trauma and crises
- There are a few different types of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)
- Disorders related to substance abuse
- Problems associated with mental health
- Assisting with pain
- Students with special needs, incarcerated individuals, military populations, and individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease benefit from music therapy.
There is no requirement that they listen to or create music of any specific genre. A therapeutic setting can benefit from all types of music.
The Benefits of Music Therapy
The difference between music therapy and other forms of treatment is that it is complementary and integrative. Empirical evidence can be found to support its effectiveness, and it has a lot of good benefits, like:
- It is essential to help people put their problems into perspective to help them cope. As part of substance abuse treatment, it is common for people to feel overwhelmed by their emotions as a result of their addiction. Music therapy can help people cope with feelings and put them in a proper perspective to help them deal with them.
- It is essential to address the triggers that can lead to substance abuse or relapse by addressing them. As a result of many triggers people experience, such as boredom, sadness, excessive stress, and feeling alone, there can be a tendency to use. These can be overwhelming when they try to overcome these triggers. It has been shown that music therapy can help individuals identify and deal with problems more quickly and effectively.
- Music therapy for addiction provides participants with an enjoyable experience; a fun activity not involving the use of drugs or alcohol will be provided. As people recover from substance abuse, they mistakenly believe that their lives will no longer be enjoyable if they don’t use drugs or alcohol anymore, which is a common conception among people in recovery. It may be one of their biggest misconceptions during this time.
- The concept of music therapy is not only a method of relaxing one’s self, but it is also a way of extending the idea that there are other ways to have an enjoyable experience than simply drinking alcohol by taking the view that the world of alcoholic drinks can be viewed as an extension of the concept of music therapy.
- There are a lot of negative emotions that we usually encounter in our lives, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, that we need to learn how to deal with to achieve success in our lives. People have been able to make better decisions and think more clearly as a result of music therapy, and in ways, they had never imagined possible.
Music therapy is one of the most potent forms of treatment that can treat various mental and emotional issues.
How Does Music Therapy Treat Addiction?
Music therapy might seem like another way for addiction treatment centers to stand out when you first hear about it. Therapists can bridge the initial gap between them and a client through the use of music therapy for addiction.
Music has a special place in everyone’s heart. It can tell you a lot about someone if you ask them what their favorite song or band is. With the use of music, music therapists gain a unique understanding of their patients. CBT therapists might discover something more quickly than in a traditional setting.
In addition, it allows people to interact with each other. Music therapy decreased the negative symptoms of a group and improved their communication skills simultaneously, according to a study. People can break down barriers through music.
The use of drugs or alcohol is not always directly addressed by music therapy. Although it does not cure addiction or alcoholism, it can help with many underlying issues. Music therapy may benefit patients who suffer from depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Music and Altered States of Consciousness
In the beginning, when we mentioned playing sounds and tones for healing, these were great examples of music producing altered states of consciousness. These states lead to the brain healing or performing specific actions we are unaware of.
One of the best times to listen to these sounds is when you’re attempting to fall asleep. The brain is most receptive to suggestions and signals during the time right before you fall asleep when you are not fully awake or entirely in sleep mode.
People have used these tones to quit smoking, help with substance abuse, and manage mental health disorders. This form of music therapy and the methods mentioned previously are both efficient ways to deal with substance abuse holistically.
Music Therapy Techniques for Substance Abuse Recovery
- For people who prefer non-verbal communication, drumming is a great way to express themselves.
- Listening to music allows you to express yourself non-verbally through motion, as you can dance to it.
- Using music to convey your thoughts and feelings is a form of receptive listening.
- A discussion of song lyrics can be equally helpful to reflect on difficult times in one’s life as listening to music.
- If you play an instrument, you can express your mood more constructively than if you speak.
- Music therapy involves singing as another form of active communication, lying between non-verbal and full-on verbal communication.
Even those who find it challenging to open up can find meaning in words through songwriting and music composition. As far as composition is concerned, it is the same. As a viewer, if you have ever watched a movie or television show, you will know how the music in the background can evoke certain moods.
Music Therapy for Relapse Prevention
Music therapy can even be effective for relapse prevention. If used to build relationships with neighbors, friends, and family, this is the perfect way to develop healthy relationships or activities that take your mind away from using.
As long as your common ground with other people regarding music leads you to positive people, this is an excellent tool for aftercare and relapse prevention.
The Healing Properties of Music in the Southwest
Native songs and music from the Southwest can have a substantial effect when it comes to music therapy. The strumming and upbeat tunes of New Mexican music not only put you in a great mood, but they’re also scores that allow multiple people to collaborate.
Using different guitars, drums of multiple types, or drum circling, healthy relationships are forged that connect us to new people and create positive social interactions. This also gives us an essential outlet for expressing our emotions.
Is a Holistic Rehab Covered by Insurance
Contact your provider for more information regarding your insurance coverage and Icarus Behavioral Health. We work with dozens of insurance companies that provide full or partial coverage for stays at our facility for substance abuse treatment.
Find Whole Person Healing and Recovery at Icarus
Why continue to circle through the same door, using the same old methods of treatment that only offer a temporary band-aid? Aren’t you ready to heal yourself entirely? Don’t you owe it to yourself to make your mind, body, and soul the best they can be together?
To find out how we can help you experience long-term recovery through holistic forms of treatment, contact a member of our Admissions team today!