Music Therapy for Substance Addiction Treatment
Music has the capacity to reach an individual on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. With the guidance of a Board Certified Music Therapist, music can be used as a tool to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, provide an outlet for emotions patients may be experiencing for the first time in a long time, support the development of self-regulation skills, and explore spirituality – and that’s why it’s such a critical part of addiction treatment. It helps reach patients from a different perspective and is motivating to begin the healing process necessary for the journey of recovery.
Recovery Centers of America at Bracebridge Hall’s Music Therapist Amanda McEntegart, MT-BC, uses music as a way to emotionally support our patients and get them on the road to recovery.
Music therapy elicits emotion and helps bring the unconscious into the conscious so our patients can address underlying issues contributing to their addiction. The music provides a safe channel for the emotions to surface, so patients can have a better understanding of what they’re feeling and why.
Group and individual music sessions here at Bracebridge also connect music with mindfulness. For example, drumming, improvisation, songwriting, lyric analysis with applications to the 12 steps, and exploring how music can support the relaxation process are some of the techniques facilitated. The beautiful thing about music therapy is that patients don’t need to have any skills in music – simply a willingness to try something new.
Group music therapy sessions are twice a week for an hour, while individual sessions are several times throughout the week. Individual sessions can focus on music instruction, exploring music to help alleviate anxiety or depression symptoms, develop specific self-regulation skills, and support the work they are doing in the 12 steps and with their primary therapists.