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Music Therapy Service

The earliest form of music therapy was initially used to help relieve the suffering of World War I and II veterans from physical and emotional trauma. During this time, musicians of all types went to various hospitals to play music for the traumatized veterans. Doctors and nurses noted significant and outstanding physical and emotional changes in the behavior of the veterans that hospitals from then on started hiring musicians for this purpose.

Music Therapy 2

Today, music therapy is already an accepted and a widely used form of treatment particularly for disorders that affect the individual’s psychological and emotional state such as substance use disorder. Contrary to what other people believe, having a musical inclination or gift is not needed to experience the benefits of music therapy. Moreover, there is no one type of music that is most beneficial compared to others. In other words, everybody who is suffering from addiction can participate in this kind of therapy and all styles of music can provide a positive change in the patient’s life.

What are the positive effects of Music Therapy?

We, at Chiron, have learned firsthand the favorable effects of utilizing music therapy to promote overall wellness of our patients. In fact, numerous studies support the many benefits of music therapy in improving the condition of patients suffering from substance abuse disorder such as the following:

  • Marked development of positive coping strategies.
  • A significant decrease in the use of avoidance as a coping mechanism.
  • Positive improvement in the use of essential life skills.
  • A more comfortable alternative avenue for communication particularly for patients who are having difficulty expressing themselves verbally.
  • Increase commitment to their treatment program.
  • Significant improvement of mood and emotions.
  • Increased self-control and patience.
  • A healthy outlet to release deeply hidden emotions and feelings for patients who have difficulty showing what they feel.

What takes place in a Music Therapy Session?

Pre-Session

The role of the therapist is crucial even prior to the start of the first music therapy session considering that they are responsible for:

  • Determining the type of music for the patient. The choice of music, as well as the correct timing of the music intervention, is not selected carelessly.  The therapist should consider several factors in order to find the right music which can positively influence the patient the most.  Such factors include the kind of music the patient likes; the current condition of the patient, including the level of treatment need; and the patient’s recovery goals.
  • Determining the mode of treatment for the patient. The therapist evaluates the strengths and needs of the patient and thereafter selects the most appropriate intervention method, which includes: Active Technique – this covers activities wherein patients are actively involved in the creation or making of music such as composing songs, singing, chanting, improvising music, and playing different kinds of musical instruments. Receptive Technique – this covers various activities wherein patients are involved in listening or responding to the music such as dancing and analyzing the lyrics of the song.
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Actual Session

It is important to note that music therapy sessions vary depending on the needs of the patient, age, situation, and current level of treatment. The therapist determines how the session will progress but it is usually divided into three parts, namely:

  • Opening. This sets the tone for the session and helps the client get ready. Singing a familiar song and asking how everyone is doing are some of the common ways session starts.
  • Interventions. This is the heart of the session and includes participating in musical activities (playing instruments, singing, composing, listening, etc.) to eventually attain positive changes.
  • Closing. This is the part where clients are made aware that the session is over and is usually carried out by the therapist wrapping up what happened in the session.

Given all the information above, you can readily appreciate the value of music therapy as a form of holistic treatment for patients with substance use disorder. However, this kind of therapy works best when it is combined with other treatment approaches such as psychotherapy and medication. This is especially true if the patient exhibits other symptoms and conditions that cannot be addressed by music therapy alone.

Our team of specialists, here in Chiron, is skilled and knowledgeable in determining the types of alternative and holistic therapy would be most suited to each of our patient. Ultimately, we are always working towards making sure that every step we take contributes to the improvement of our clients.


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