Music Therapy

Music Therapy

For a patient to benefit from Music Therapy, they do not have to be musically trained, a singer, or even enjoy listening to music. It is not the End Product that is important in a session, it is the Actual Process That heals.  Music Therapy is for clients of all ages, not just children and teens.

5 Benefits of Music Therapy

       1.  Developing Useful Coping Strategies

When dealing with symptoms of mental illness, we hear the common expression of “using coping    strategies” to help lessen symptoms. Music therapy can provide a wide variety of different coping skills including breathing techniques, rhythmic grounding, auditory grounding, relaxation, and distraction. In music therapy, these strategies are practiced, so when a crisis arises, one knows how to utilize their strategies effectively.

  1. Developing Positive Emotional Behavior

Sometimes when struggling with mental health, the hardest question to answer is “how are you?”. Many people default into saying “good”, “fine”, or “okay,” without knowledge of what those words truly mean to them in that moment. Music therapy can help with the identification and labeling of emotions in a safe environment that can transfer over into better communication of feelings and needs in other situations. Emotional behavior also includes emotional awareness and the non-verbal expression of emotions. Music therapy can be a useful tool in learning how to safely express emotions either verbally or non-verbally in order to increase emotional regulation

3. Increasing Frustration Tolerance
Mental health challenges can cause frustration to increase in some situations. Many times when frustration is at its peak, that is when many mental health symptoms start to exhibit themselves and become too overwhelming to handle. Through music therapy, one can work on building frustration tolerance in a controlled environment through something creative in nature. For example, a music therapist may engage the client in a structured improvisation based on themes dealing with mental health (i.e. triggers, overcoming frustration, reflecting the emotions felt in a panic attack) to work on developing how to experience and overcome frustration. Music therapy can also help clients learn relaxation techniques to help prevent frustration from increasing.

4. Improving interpersonal relationships
Though mental health is often thought of as a personal issue, it does impact our daily relationships. This could be with family, friends, acquaintances, significant others, workplace relationships, or even strangers you happen to meet day to day. Mental health troubles can cause us to isolate, lash-out, or want to disconnect from those around us. Music therapy can provide opportunities to practice social skills that can later be transferred to daily relationships.

5. Improving self -awareness, self-esteem, and self-image
Part of the battle with mental health is trying to understand what is happening in your mind and how it’s affecting you. Mental health challenges can take a toll on our esteem and the image that we have of ourselves as well. Music therapy can help support these and increase insight into one’s behavior and self. It is hard to be kind to yourself when you are feeling at your lowest. A music therapist can guide you through the low moments to find the good qualities within yourself  and help you look forward to the positive times ahead.