Recovery from alcohol and drug abuse is a challenging endeavor for both clients and their families. Traditional treatment centers often focus purely on the physical effects, medically treating withdrawal symptoms, and hoping that recovering addicts can stay off substances. However, alcohol and drug abuse must be dealt with physically, emotionally, and spiritually, giving each client options for recovery and new methods for overcoming addiction. With music therapy, clients are finding creative solutions for beating their problems.
Music Therapy in Addiction Recovery
After helping clients go through a detox process that utilizes natural health solutions and medical treatment when needed, the program prepares people for healing through one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and groups that replace the need for substance abuse with new life skills. With groups in music, art, martial arts, yoga, and more, the creative side of the brain is stimulated and the focus shifts from withdrawal effects to new studies. Music therapy, in particular, has been one of the major forces in alternative treatments for addiction recovery.
Express Yourself through Music
Outside of the United States, music has been used in recovery therapy for addictions and illnesses throughout the world. More recently, the practice has gained popularity in America. Music helps clients get in touch with others through creative art, express their feelings, and replace substance abuse with a healthy alternative. Music therapy is just one of many tools used in treating clients.
Listening, Learning, and Playing
Music therapy focuses both on listening to and playing music. The benefits of listening to music have been well-known for years. It affects moods, helps concentration, invokes memories, releases anxiety and stress, and can promote optimism and positive thinking. Playing music helps build skills by learning music theory and the operations and abilities of an instrument. As an educational tool, music helps replace substance cravings with a focus on healthily stimulating the mind. By setting goals for learning an instrument, recovering clients can watch their abilities improve and see how working hard at achieving their ambitions helps them recover.
Creative Expression with Music Therapy
Recovering alcoholics and drug abusers often find they have a tremendous amount of energy and time that was previously spent using substances. It is crucial that they find new ways to expend their energy and fill their time. Music offers people a unique form of expression. Anyone, no matter his or her background or experience, can learn to express feelings through music, playing instruments and singing songs. Music therapy can cater to individuals that thrive in a focused study, as well as those who are more prone to improvised expression. Music is non-restrictive, and clients find that as their musical skills improve, their confidence, self-esteem, and recovery progresses as well.
Bringing Others Together
Music has always been a spiritual and social practice that brings groups of people together to listen and play. The groups in a treatment program help bring recovering alcoholics and drug abusers together to replace their cravings and character defects with new and healthy skills. By learning to play music, recovering addicts work with instructors and other clients in a communal effort of encouragement and growth. Clients can also share their music with others, including fellow recovering members, counselors, program directors, family members, and friends.
Music, Art, and More
Many treatment facilities focus on giving individual clients the freedom to choose their program. By offering various groups in everything from music and art to business and religions, recovering addicts can find what treatment solutions work best for their personal needs to recover and begin a healthy, addiction-free lifestyle.