Music is one of the very few things that has a universal quality; nearly everyone has an emotional and personal connection to it. This universal response makes it a great tool for a number of therapy programs, including addiction treatment programs.
Check out the infographic below to learn more about the benefits of music therapy.
Why Does Music Therapy Work?
The answer lies in its ability to address the physical, cognitive and emotional needs of every person.
While music therapy might be thought of as a new form of therapy, the opposite is actually true. This type of therapy can be traced back to Hippocrates in 400 B.C. Hippocrates used this method to calm and treat individuals dealing with mental disorders.
Later, after World War II, music therapy gained more widespread acceptance when it was used to address the physical and emotional strain shown by soldiers who fought in the war. The music helped soldiers work through their emotions without being overwhelmed by them, a useful tool in helping to re-integrate them into daily life.
Music therapy emphasizes positive emotions, such as joy and acceptance. It also de-emphasizes negative ones, such as anxiety, a very strong feeling for those who have served in combat.
Additionally, this form of therapy is used to treat a range of symptoms including addiction, depression, stress, autism, PTSD and physical trauma. By developing interpersonal skills, motor skills and overcoming anxiety, music therapy is able to improve the lives of many individuals.
Which Music Should Be Used for Music Therapy?
One question many have about music therapy is whether there is a specific type of music that should be used to achieve the best results. The answer? Not exactly.
Certain types of music do work better for treating certain disorders or anxieties. For instance, someone with severe anxiety might be exposed to calming, slow-tempo music. But a person with depression might benefit from something more raucous and uptempo. Whether it’s Mozart or Megadeth, it is important to find the right music for the right client, but that will vary considerably based on the person.
There is also a wide range of music therapies that can benefit clients. For example, a person with a speech impediment can be encouraged to recreate sounds they hear in music. This is an effective way to develop the mimicking skill. Someone struggling with addiction might be helped by trying to compose a song. This allows the person to trust his or her instincts and dictate what will happen. Both applications build confidence, another benefit of music therapy.
How Music Plays Into Treatment of Addiction
How many times have you heard a song you loved during a particularly good time in your life and instantly seen your mood lift? Music has an incredibly powerful effect on our brains, and that is part of why it can help with treatment of addiction. When you listen to music, the brain produces dopamine —the same thing it does when you take drugs. You could say that music, then, produces a natural high that resonates with those struggling with addiction.
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