We are in Nashville after all, Music City. It’s here that so many artists and performers come to make it as singers and songwriters. It’s difficult to go anywhere in Nashville and not hear music or experience it on some way. We like to say that Integrative Life Center is right in the heart of music city due to our location on Music Row. It’s along Music Row that some many iconic musicans like Elvis and Dolly Parton have recorded their work. Thus, if Music Row is the heart of Nashville, then music is the life source that the city runs on. It’s in our history, our foundation and our blood. We believe that there’s no place more fitting for a Music Therapy program than right here. Music touches the soul in ways other art forms can’t. For many, it’s the life-changing experience they need to implement real change.
Our Music Therapy program holds a widely integrated and important role within recovery. Music therapists who work within recovery use the connection between music and the brain to support treatment through intrinsic motivation and often focus on goals of empowerment, improved self-confidence, and deepened emotional insights.
Music therapists address individualized, person-centered goals, addressing needs in physical, psycho-social, emotional, cognitive and/or spiritual domains. Specific goals within recovery music therapy could include enhancement of relationships, support of healthy coping skills, facilitation of greater self-awareness, increased emotional expression, improved social cohesion, or increased insight regarding one’s higher power. Music therapy can work on a number of levels for clients.
How a Music Therapy Program Works
Perhaps the most obvious method is learning to play an instrument. Doing so improves an individual’s focus and is an excellent way to learn a new hobby or develop a new passion. But music therapy also involves listening attentively to music and allowing it to help you center and focus. Some clients find they can best express their thoughts and feeling through writing songs or lyrics. Often, clients end up surprising themselves with how impactful the therapy can be. Further, a music therapy program can involve learning the history of music or discovering through participation how music is recorded and manipulated. The variety of practices within a music therapy program are numerous making it a valuable treatment opion.
COMMON INTERVENTIONS WITHIN RECOVERY MUSIC THERAPY INCLUDE:
- Lyric analysis
- Relaxation techniques
- Song discussion
- Guided imagery
- Vocal improvisation
- Instrumental improvisation
Research on music therapy in addiction and mental health treatment shows that physical symptoms, including the perception of pain from detox and stress levels, can greatly improve. Studies also show improvement in emotional and psychological experiences such as depression, anxiety, and anger, increasing one’s locus of control and promoting motivation for internal change.