Music therapy has been pervading almost every realm of healthcare for the last forty years. Numerous studies show the benefits of music therapy for different populations, proving that music has the power to heal people, regardless of the ailment or demographic. Those of us suffering from the disease of addiction are no exception.
Recently, addiction treatment centers have been implementing music therapy in their programs and yielding positive results. With the aid of music, therapists are finding their clients opening up and exhibiting deeper levels of honesty, identifying their feelings easily, and connecting better with others in group therapy sessions. The use of music therapy in addiction treatment is extremely beneficial and can aid in almost every aspect of healing from substance abuse.
Music Provides a Sense of Safety. According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Music is a form of sensory stimulation that provokes responses due to the familiarity, predictability and feelings of security associated with it.” That sense of safety helps us feel comfortable and know that we’re in an environment where we can be vulnerable, which is crucial to addressing underlying issues that are keeping us caught in the cycle.
Music Is Used to Identify and Express Emotions. In active addiction, substances numb and hide our feelings under layers of denial and dishonesty. Those emotions are difficult to unearth without the right tools. Music provides us addicts with an outlet for not only expressing but also identifying those feelings in a safe and productive way.
Music Recalls Memories. Have you ever been listening to your music on shuffle when you’re suddenly transported back in time because of a certain song? Knowing which songs induce feelings of joy and inspiration or which ones can bring us to a dark place can aid in the journey of recovery. Associating new, positive memories with music can help us keep clear and hopeful headspaces.
Music Connects Us to One Another. Addiction isolates us from our loved ones and reality. As social beings, this loneliness debilitates us, throwing us further in to our addiction. Music has the power to bring all of us together – whether it be showing a friend a new song or attending a live performance, we can all share and connect through these experiences.
The correct implementation of music therapy for addiction treatment is gaining popularity and proving to make breakthroughs. Music can truly be the medicine us addicts need in order to recover.