Music forms a considerable part of our lives, and most people probably have a song for every situation they find themselves in. And this is not by accident. Scientists have proven that music can be an effective treatment solution for several mental challenges. Its cathartic effects work differently for everyone, but it is highly effective for this reason.
One thing that stands out is that everyone has their taste in music, which means it can massively adapt to the liking of the patient and the situation at hand. Music therapy takes advantage of humans’ innate sensitivity to music to provide a safe space to improve their overall well-being. But even better is that anyone stand to benefit from music therapy, whether they are involved in making it or just listening to it.
What Exactly is Music Therapy?
According to American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based utilization of music interventions to achieve individualized goals. This arrangement happens within a therapeutic relationship between a patient and a board-certified music therapist.
These interventions help to address various healthcare and educational goals, such as:
- Manage Stress
- Alleviate Pain
- Promote Wellness
- Enhance Memory
- Improve Communication
- Express Feelings
- Promote Physical Rehabilitation, etc.
Music therapy experiences include:
- Listening to music
- Composing music
- Playing instruments.
It is worth noting that music skills or talent are not a requirement to participate in music therapy. Music therapy can be a viable alternative to other therapy types, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or counseling. It uses the powerful ability of music to improve one’s well-being.
What are the Benefits of Music Therapy?
Research in music therapy has proven benefits in patients such as:
Music Therapy Helps Patients Develop Effective Coping Mechanisms
Music therapy teaches patients coping skills such as music relaxation, diversion, rhythmic and auditory grounding, and specific breathing methods. One can use these coping mechanisms and techniques in a crisis to help cope with external triggers and influences.
Music Therapy Encourages Positive Emotional Behavior Development
Improving one’s communication and interactions with others is often one of the underlying goals in music therapy. Music therapy helps patients identify and label their emotions in a safe space with the therapist’s help. Consistency in sessions eventually improves one’s communications with people in the outside world.
Emotional behavior also includes proper emotional awareness and nonverbal expressions. Music therapy helps patients to safely and confidently communicate their feelings verbally and non-verbally to regulate their emotions better.
Music Therapy Helps to Improve Self-Image
Self-actualization as a means of fostering self-esteem is a fundamental tenet of music therapy. Music can help refocus and reassess the self-care a person affords themselves. Uplifting music is compelling for helping people become fully conscious of their thoughts, self-image, and emotions. This is an essential step to improving self-awareness and self-esteem.
Music therapy can also help boost self-confidence and lessen social anxiety. Getting into the rhythm with music has also been shown to help with self-esteem, being in social situations, and handling interactions confidently.
Music Therapy Helps to Improve Interpersonal Relationships
Mental health issues can affect one’s connections with immediate friends and family. Common signs and symptoms of mental health issues include isolation, lashing out, and reduced communication.
If done in groups, music therapy starts by improving one’s communication skills with people in their immediate therapy settings. Simultaneously, if done privately, music therapy can also help people discover the underlying cause of their behaviors and reactions toward others.
Music Therapy Reduces Anxiety
Music therapy can reduce help distract and divert a patient’s thoughts to a mental space where they are comfortable. This can help defuse tension, especially when struggling with anxiety disorders. Music has a powerful calming effect on the subconscious; individuals who get panic attacks can also use them to feel better.
Music Therapy Can Help Elevate Mood
On days when people are feeling emotional or neutral, music therapy can help them express their feelings. A happy beat or uplifting song can have an impact that lasts on the brain. Music therapy leverages this to remind patients what to be satisfied with and allow them to think of their situations differently.
This makes patients happy and upbeat, which is evident in their physical disposition. Being in a good mood will trickle down to reducing depression symptoms and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and dementia in senior citizens.
Music Therapy Increases Motivation
While the lack of motivation isn’t an inherent sign of a mental illness, it is usually symptomatic of clinical depression. The lack of motivation can be the primary symptom of mood disorders like bipolar depression. It can also be a secondary feature of anxiety disorders like PTSD. Music therapy can help improve one’s mood and response to external stimuli.
Music Therapy Improves Concentration and Coordination in Children
Kids are easily distracted by external factors. While this is normal, distraction can be detrimental in the long run and may point to an underlying mental issue. Music therapy can help in grounding a child to concentrate on a single stimulus at a time until their concentration span improves.
Furthermore, music therapy can help them coordinate better if they lack proper coordination skills. Part of music therapy includes playing musical instruments that keep children engaged and learning how to coordinate their body movements with musical notes.
Music Therapy Can Translate Also to Music Education
Though not directly offered by a licensed education, music education in schools is a form of music therapy. Studies show that music programs in learning institutions are proportional to 90% graduation rates, fewer disciplinary issues, and higher test scores. Music therapy, even strictly professional, can help a child improve in school.
Who Can Benefit from Music Therapy
People from all ages, cultures, and backgrounds can respond to music. Music therapy can help individuals such as:
- Military service members and veterans
- People with Alzheimer’s Disease
- People with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- People in Correctional Settings
- Victims of Trauma and Crisis
- Physically ill persons
- People with mental health disorders
- People with chronic pain
- People struggling with addiction
Mental Health and Music Therapy
Music therapy can helps tackle and address mental health challenges, from trauma, depression, and stress, to anything affecting a person’s ability to live and co-exist normally. Mental health and music therapy at Health Life Recovery can help give mental health patients a shot at everyday, healthy life.
Music is a powerful influence on human beings, and music therapy is a viable therapy for anyone going through mental health issues. Music therapy has life-changing potential, whether used alongside other therapies or as a stand-alone solution. One efficient approach to benefit from music’s various advantages is to work with a music therapist.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment with Healthy Life Recovery
Healthy Life Recovery is an outpatient drug and alcohol rehab center in San Diego, CA. The treatment center’s multidisciplinary approach appreciates every drug and substance abuse patient’s unique needs. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out to Healthy Life Recovery today. Our team can answer any questions you may have and give you a better understanding of our program.