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Music Therapy Program for Addiction

Music allows for the expression of the inexpressible. It is a form of pure communication, beyond traditional words and syntax. How many times have you heard a guitar solo and knew exactly what the musician was trying to say, without them even uttering a word.? Man has been creating music since before civilization. We would beat on the ground, creating a beat, and participate in dance as if it was something that we didn’t just enjoy doing, but something that we had to do. Something that we had to do in order to express our humanity because our words would us fail in doing so. And so it is not that far of a leap in order to understand why music therapy is effective in the treatment of drug addiction and alcoholism.

" Drug addiction and alcoholism is a profound illness. Many times words fail in expressing what it truly does to a person. "

Drug addiction and alcoholism is a profound illness. Many times words fail in expressing what it truly does to a person. You could attempt to explain to your family what it is like to have such an overwhelming obsession that if you do not take actions to alleviate it, it feels like your skin is going to crawl off of your body, but they would not be able to understand. You could attempt to explain to your friends, why it is that you just had 15 drinks when just yesterday you were arrested for a DUI, but they will not understand. You could attempt to explain to your therapist the loneliness that you have felt, tugging at your very core, making the decision to not take your own life a difficult one, but they will not fully comprehend. Even when the alcoholic or addict tries to explain their actions to themselves, they don’t really understand, and that is because words cannot truly do justice to what the disease of addiction really is.

This is especially true in early sobriety. The alcoholic or addict has experienced a number of life altering experiences, the likes of which, the normal member of society will never know. Expressing these things to themselves or to another human being can be a daunting, if not almost impossible task, without the guide and aid of trained professionals, like the ones at Holistic Recovery Centers. Even then expressing these experiences or emotions may still be too much and the individual may require a less traditional outlet in order to express these things, and that is where music therapy comes in.

What Is Music Therapy?

Music therapy utilizes music in the form of song, instrumental playing, and movement in order to develop understanding, awareness, and self-expression. Those who teach our music therapy sessions at Holistic Recovery Centers are licensed clinicians who are trained in the art of music therapy and have years of experience helping people afflicted with addiction or other illness express their feelings, thoughts, increase their self-esteem, and raise their emotional awareness and confidence.

When used in a therapeutic environment, especially in conjunction with other therapies, music therapy can help the client make progress quicker, as it uncovers deep-seated issues in a non-threatening and harmonious way. Music therapy and addiction treatment can work together to help heal addiction, trauma, and uncover underlying issues that may have contributed to substance abuse problems.

To some the idea of music therapy sounds like new age fluff that just seeks to avoid the more traditional form of therapy, which involves the actual expression of words, but this could not be further from the truth. Research has repeatedly shown that music, when used in combination with more traditional forms of therapy has improved the overall well being of the individual who is suffering.

A question that is often asked by people is, are there really music therapy professionals? The answer to this question is yes. Therapists who practice music therapy are licensed clinicians who have completed training programs for music therapy. There are music therapy programs in many major universities, and it is a legitimate therapeutic practice that is well established and respected by professionals in the psychiatric field.

The Therapeutic Benefits Of Music Therapy

Different therapies work for different people. This is why it is so important to find a setting that employs multiple types of treatment techniques. While talk therapy is wonderful, there are times when feelings and experiences are buried so deep or are so profound that words can’t express them. Music therapy can bridge the gap between emotions and words, while simultaneously having a soothing effect on the soul.

Beside offering an additional level of care outside of the normal therapeutic setting, movement, singing, and the playing of musical instruments can be a powerful form of self-expression, allowing for people to express themselves, who under different conditions never would.

Listening to music can help facilitate relaxation and focus. Who hasn’t sat in their car in traffic, fuming from the fact that they were going to be late somewhere and then put their favorite song on, only to find that they have become increasingly calmer. Listening to music is meditative and allows for the relaxation of the mind, as well as the body.

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Does Music Therapy Really Help?

Mention has been made of the healing powers of music since the times of Plato and Aristotle. Much has been written about music and its profound effect on not only mental health, but also physical health. There is no doubt that music, even just listening to it, can effect change in the brain and the body.

Taking its cue from the modern research done of the benefits of music therapy, Holistic Recovery Centers decided to employ a music therapy program in our treatment facilities. Music therapy in addiction treatment is extremely versatile, and can offer an extraordinarily diverse range of benefits. One of which is that listening to music can elevate levels of dopamine. This can be helpful to the newly recovering addict because they often have low levels of dopamine, which can contribute to fatigue, lack of motivation, depression and cravings for drugs.

Practicing a musical instrument can help to improve brain performance on a variety of levels, increasing brain plasticity. Also called neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to heal itself. After years of using drugs, it can take time for the brain to get back to “normal.” Practicing music can help speed this healing process.

For people who are depressed, stressed, or anxious, music can provide a way to express themselves in healthy ways, all while healing their emotions. Examples can include drumming, writing lyrics, singing aloud, or dancing to your favorite tunes.

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Listen & Learn From The Music Therapy Program At Holistic Recovery Services

At Holistic Recovery Centers, we offer treatments that address the needs of the whole person. It isn’t just about addiction or alcoholism. Often substance abuse is only a part of the problem, and holistic treatments, such as music therapy are designed to help the overall healing process. We treat the person, not just the addiction. We are proud to offer a music therapy program at our treatment centers and believe that it is an integral part of the recovery process for many of our clients.

If you would like to learn more about Holistic Recovery Centers and the therapies we offer, call today at 1-877-723-7117, or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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