How Can Art and Music Therapies Improve the Clinical Therapy Experience?

How Can Art and Music Therapies Improve the Clinical Therapy Experience?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

While clinical treatments and therapies are crucial for long-lasting success in recovery, relying exclusively on clinical approaches can lead clients to lose motivation and involvement in their recovery journeys. Clients may also find that they are unable to fully and deeply understand their addiction or mental health concerns because of this strict approach. Incorporating holistic services such as art and music therapies into clients’ plans allows them to be more personally and deeply involved in their journeys.

At First Steps Recovery, holistic care is offered to all clients. Some of these holistic options include nature-based approaches to self-discovery. Other options involve creative means of expression to encourage self-evaluation and healthy coping mechanisms. These creative holistic services include art and music therapies.

Art and Music Therapies at First Steps Recovery

Clients can develop a better understanding of their complex and often difficult emotions through art and music therapies at First Steps Recovery. First Steps Recovery offers these therapies to encourage clients to engage with their feelings, understand them, and use this understanding in their clinical therapies. Bringing these difficult feelings forward keeps clients from bottling up emotions that can eventually lead to destructive habits. These holistic services help the client heal fully. Because of this, a holistic approach is more effective than exclusively focusing on addiction and addiction symptoms.

Art Therapy at First Steps Recovery

Clients are encouraged to use creative thinking and imagination to produce creative works in art therapy at First Steps Recovery. People can take part in painting, drawing, and sculpting as art therapy. Clients are also exposed to different forms of creative expression such as dance, music, acting, and poetry writing. Clients often design visual journals with their therapists that details their day-to-day life using images and words. They can then reflect on their artwork to strengthen their understanding of themselves.

Artwork helps clients communicate their thoughts and feelings in the present moment to others. Using this therapy, clients gain full freedom of self-expression. In clinical talk therapy, clients may feel uncomfortable opening up. Sometimes verbal expression can feel too direct, intimidating, or intense. With art therapy, clients are welcome to explore, understand, and resolve emotional issues. This promotes greater self-confidence and self-esteem. When clients work on their inner selves, this encourages long-term sobriety. As a person starts to build their inner strength and understanding, they gain tools that can pay dividends throughout recovery.

Art therapy is especially helpful for clients struggling with depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Bringing these feelings to the forefront helps clients productively express themselves. They then can gain a larger understanding of their addiction and mental health. Understanding the root cause of their feelings and their addiction helps clients push past barriers in recovery.

Music Therapy at First Steps Recovery

As most people know, a person’s emotions and thoughts can be influenced by music. Music is a powerful tool that allows people to communicate honestly and connect on a deeper level. Music therapy at First Steps Recovery uses different forms of music to help clients self-reflect on the present moment and consider where they want their recovery journey to lead. An experienced music therapist leads the group and runs activities such as drumming circles, basic instruction, composition, songwriting, and lyric interpretation.

Clients who participate in music therapy often experience decreased stress levels. Certain types of music encourage a relaxation response. Clients struggling with co-occurring disorders may experience relief from anxiety or depression symptoms. These difficult feelings and experiences are often the root cause of addiction as well. Gaining relief from those feelings allows clients to release tensions and gain insight into their addiction. Music therapy also aids with feelings of loneliness, isolation, and boredom, which are often relapse triggers.

When clients keep their minds active and focused through music therapy, this helps promote long-term sobriety. Activities done in this program can also be used outside of First Steps Recovery. Music can become part of the healthy coping mechanisms clients can rely on. After treatment, clients can keep their “recovery playlist” and return to this playlist after leaving the facility.

How Do Art and Music Therapies Aid Clinical Therapy Practices?

Art and music therapies aid clinical therapy practices, as they allow clients to delve deeper into themselves and become more comfortable expressing themselves verbally to their therapist(s). Because of their creative nature, these therapies allow clients to express themselves through the body and soul. Clinical psychotherapy often limits clients to psychoanalyzing their feelings and thoughts. However, verbal expression and mental analysis are often not enough, especially when trying to uncover underlying causes of addiction or working through difficult emotions. These creative therapies invite clients to open up to themselves and others honestly and fully in a safe space.

Art and Music Therapies for Self-Discovery

These creative therapies are done in a safe and secure environment to encourage honest creative expression from clients. Clients often shy away from fully understanding themselves because seeking self-knowledge is a complex and difficult thing to do. Art and music therapies, however, help clients turn to a creative means of expression that can be fun and inviting. Digging deeper into one’s true self to produce beautiful creative works can also be encouraging.

Overall, clients gain a stronger sense of self through creative therapies such as art and music. This form of self-discovery helps people improve their physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being simultaneously.

Here at First Steps Recovery, we offer holistic services such as art and music therapies for all clients. Art and music therapies encourage clients to dig deeper into themselves to gain a greater understanding of their mental health, addiction, and life. These therapies encourage clients to express themselves creatively in a completely honest way. We offer a safe and secure environment to help facilitate this process. Art and music therapies also create improvements in mental, physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being while benefiting the clinical aspects of treatment. When a person can be honest with themselves, it helps them to be honest with their therapists. Please call First Steps Recovery at (844) 489-0836 to learn more. 

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