Music Therapy

Music Therapy is a type of therapy that uses music to assist an individual in their treatment. Music is, in one way or another, part of everyone's life. It can be a career for some people, a hobby, entertainment, or just the background soundtrack for buying groceries at the supermarket. Music can also provide relaxation, distraction, and motivation in our daily lives. 

But the power of music can go far beyond just a form of entertainment. Music can change or induce an emotional state in a lot of people. It can also impact the energy levels that the person feels and make them feel happy or sad.  In this context, music can be therapeutic, and trained professionals use it as a treatment for mental health disorders, autism, dementia, substance use disorder, and other conditions. 

According to the AMTA (the American Music Therapy Association), "Music Therapy is the clinical & evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program." Music Therapy is used in the medical field to address patients' needs related to chronic pain, physical rehabilitation, headaches, cardiac conditions, surgery, and obstetrics, among others. In addition, for people with Substance Use Disorder, Music Therapy can help them manage emotions related to their condition, like anger, shame, guilt, hopelessness, depression, lack of self-esteem, etc. Furthermore, Music Therapy can significantly help to improve interpersonal relationships, self-expression, and self-confidence, help deal with cravings, reduce the effects of stressful situations, and deal with remorse about decisions the person had made in the past under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

According to the AMTA,  Music therapy intervention provides opportunities to:

  • Explore personal feelings and therapeutic issues such as self-esteem or personal insight
  • Make positive changes in mood and emotional states
  • Have a sense of control over life through successful experiences
  • Enhance awareness of self and environment
  • Express oneself both verbally and non-verbally
  • Develop coping and relaxation skills
  • Support healthy feelings and thoughts
  • Improve reality testing and problem-solving skills
  • Interact socially with others
  • Develop independence and decision making skills
  • Improve concentration and attention span
  • Adopt positive forms of behavior
  • Resolve conflicts leading to stronger family and peer relationships