Music has a powerful effect on mood, feelings, thoughts and emotions. Listening to certain songs lifts our mood, while other songs create feelings of longing, or amplify despair. Some songs facilitate psychological and emotional healing by providing an outlet through which we filter thoughts and feelings. Participating in music also allows us to express difficult emotions and feelings and can be used as a healthy coping mechanism for overcoming certain triggers, including anxiety, depression, and loneliness. It can be a powerful tool for addiction recovery, which is why we use it at Pax House.
Music Therapy is a clinical and evidence-based method facilitated by a licensed music therapist that uses music to help individuals connect with their inner thoughts and feelings in order to accomplish various goals in their therapeutic process. Music is used as a tool to help clients learn to manage emotional, psychological, cognitive, and/or physical problems. You don’t have to be musically inclined in order to benefit from music therapy. Enjoying music just as a listener, by singing or dancing along, or discussing lyrics can be healing. While certain types of music may be more or less conducive to therapy, any type of music that speaks to the client and helps them express their internal state can ultimately be of great benefit. Our licensed music therapists recognize the power of music and know how to harness it to help our clients. They will work with each client to create an individualized program that complements their unique tastes, skills, abilities and goals.
Music therapy has numerous benefits. First and foremost, it gives form to ineffable thoughts and emotions. This supports other therapeutic approaches, including individual and group therapy sessions. One can begin to work on certain issues without the stress of articulating difficult feelings and emotions.
Additionally, music helps people to relax and reduces stress. It can help with physiological problems, or depression and anxiety, by inducing a meditative state, encouraging optimism and hope, boosting the immune system, reducing feelings of loneliness, and facilitating much needed emotional release, all of which supports a person in early recovery.
Music therapy is also a readily available tool for clients after they leave treatment to use when they feel stressed, emotional, or otherwise in need of support when coping with triggers and temptations they come across while on their own. Music is optimism and hope, it boosts the immune system, reduces feelings of loneliness, and facilitates much needed emotional release, all of which supports a person in early recovery.
“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” –Frank Zappa
At Pax House, we use music therapy to accentuate the work that takes place in individual and group therapy sessions. Our clients learn how to use music to express themselves, cope with triggers, and reduce stress. With our music therapist as their guide, clients will learn either how to create music or use pre-existing music to advance their own rehabilitation. While therapy is respectful of each person’s tastes and preferences, we do discourage listening to types of music that promote drinking/drug use as this might hasten relapse. The simple skills acquired in music therapy can be highly effective in helping our clients maintain their hard-earned recovery when they return home.