Exploring the Benefits of Music Therapy at First Steps Recovery

Exploring the Benefits of Music Therapy at First Steps Recovery

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

While clinical care is important in addiction and mental health recovery, holistic care is equally significant for healing. Holistic care provides clients with healthy coping mechanisms and outlets, ways to express themselves in different ways, and opportunities to connect more deeply with themselves. Music therapy is an example of holistic care that is creative and expressive. This therapy gives clients an alternative method for self-understanding and healing from mental health issues and substance abuse.

First Steps Recovery offers music therapy as a holistic service for all types of disorders. Clients are provided with personalized treatment plans and encouraged to participate in different holistic services at the facility. These holistic services are also available for clients in all programs, including residential, outpatient, intensive outpatient (IOP), and partial hospitalization (PHP).

What Is Music Therapy?

Music therapy incorporates music and musical expression in order to promote self-reflection and self-assessment. First Steps Recovery brings in a music therapist to facilitate these practices. Clients not only listen to music but also participate in drum circles, use musical instruments, compose music, write songs, and interpret lyrics.

Because music is such an integral part of people’s lives, it can be an accessible form of healing. Clients learn to associate music with emotions and moods and explore the influence music has on them. Music allows people to feel and communicate honestly, holding great power and can potentially be healing. Emotional and psychological issues can be addressed through music, and it is important to embrace this transformative element of all of our lives in a productive way.

With music therapy at First Steps Recovery, staff members try to understand each client in order to cater the therapy to individual needs. Some clients may benefit more from improvising with instruments versus creating playlists. Each client’s love of music and needs in healing are considered in this program. Classical, punk, country, rock, pop, and rap among all other genres of music can be incorporated into clients’ recovery playlists.

The Importance of Creative Expression in Healing and Recovery

Participation in creative activities, like art and music, is linked to positive mental health recovery outcomes. Creative or nontraditional interventions give clients to ability to take control over their healing. Rather than feel forced to partake only in a specific form of talk therapy, clients can test out different creative activities and discover what makes them feel their best. Self-direction is a key element of healing and recovery that helps prevent relapse or self-destructive habits. This sense of agency also helps clients take control over where they want their healing to go in the future and make active choices that are productive for their journeys.

For clients coping with co-occurring disorders, such as mental health disorders coexisting with substance use disorders (SUD), music therapy can help address deep underlying issues or factors that are at the root of addiction. These underlying factors can be difficult to uncover in clinical therapy, but music therapy gives clients a creative way to express themselves as well as take time to fully understand themselves.

Creative expression, in general, also cultivates community. Creativity brings people together who share similar interests, both those in recovery and those who are not. Building social systems that support sober and healing activities helps promote well-being long-term, way beyond the period of treatment. At First Steps Recovery, the community is a crucial element of recovery and healing. Community is promoted through clinical and holistic care, and creative therapies, such as music therapy, help strengthen these connections on a deeper level.

The Benefits of Music Therapy

Since music is a powerful tool in recovery and a general element of everyone’s life, music therapy can be extremely transformative. Stress is a natural part of mental health and addiction recovery. Music helps reduce this stress and encourages a relaxation response.

Music, specifically, releases brain chemicals that produce emotional reactions, memories, feelings, and social bonds. Tailoring music therapy and creative expression toward positive emotional experiences helps clients feel an increased sense of well-being. As clients create happy associations, they become more welcoming toward integrating music therapy practices in their own lives long-term.

Music can also assist clients in resisting self-isolation and eradicating a sense of loneliness. Community building is inherent in music therapy because music is a universal language that naturally tends to bring people together. This type of therapy also addresses boredom, a common relapse trigger, because listening to or creating music helps keep the brain active. Enhanced focus is another benefit of music therapy, as well as other creative therapies like art therapy. The power of music to relieve boredom and improve focus is beneficial for those in recovery who need positive mental activity to stay healthy. Overall, music therapy helps clients practice and maintain healthy coping mechanisms, which helps them avoid self-destructive habits.

Here at First Steps Recovery, holistic care is just as important as our clinical services. One holistic therapy we offer is music therapy, which helps promote creative expression, community, relaxation, and healthy coping mechanisms. Music is such an integral part of everyone’s life, and using music to promote well-being, healing, and recovery can help clients sustain sobriety long-term. Music therapy also helps clients uncover the underlying factors of their disorders, which are often mental health disorders when addiction is present. Community and social support systems are also built into this therapy. Music helps connect people and it also promotes enjoyable sober activities. To learn more about music therapy for healing and recovery, please call us at (844) 489-0836.

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Meet Our Team

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