Art and Music Heal the Soul
Art and music as therapy was used as far back as 1789, though it wasn’t developed as a clinical profession until around the 1940s. It was initially used for patients with mental health conditions, helping them to work through and express how they felt internally so that they could describe their struggle to psychotherapists. The use of art therapy for treatment of substance abuse began in the 1950s, and music therapy followed in the 1970s. Not every recovery center uses these alternative therapies, but in our quest to heal the whole self in recovery, we’ve found that the integration of art and music therapy is beneficial for our clients. Our holistic healing space integrates art and music therapy as a stress relieving modality that works for those struggling with addiction, PTSD, grief, loss, and anger management.
Creativity works differently deep within every soul. The main reasons people connect with art and music are often the strong emotions that can be unlocked, and the memories and associations that are called up when a song plays, or when you let your creativity flow. In addiction recovery at Enlightened Solutions, our mission is to bring joy into your life – joy that you can call on at any time as you navigate your sober lifestyle.
Healing through art and music happens through inspiration and engagement. With that in mind, our Art and Music Therapists work with specific groups of our clients, allowing them first to experiment with an assortment of artistic mediums and musical instruments as conduits for self-expression. After these art and music group sessions, the group will process their feelings and why they connected to their artwork or piece of music. As we navigate through these artistic sessions, we discuss each emotion that emerges, whether it’s something surprising or something we have difficulty verbalizing.
Our clients will work on the following creative projects:
- Creating collages
- Writing short stories or journaling
- Analyzing famous pieces of art
- Music lessons
- Writing music
- Writing poetry
As our clients participate in these art and music sessions, the therapist will observe body language to notice stress, anxiety, sadness, or frustration. Once each creative session is complete, clients share their experiences and talk through the connection between what you’ve created and what you’re feeling. Music and art therapy help people develop and increase communication skills as they transition through complex emotions to gain understanding and articulate the complicated connection between their emotional state and addiction behaviors.
A common reason why people relapse after a period of sobriety is the inability in managing stress levels. Writing, as well as listening to or creating music can be a wonderful therapeutic stress release. Finding what you enjoy can also help alleviate boredom, which can be a relapse trigger for those in early recovery. Listening to music or creating a piece of art occupies your mind with healthy pursuits as it encourages participation in healthy leisure activities with a non-chemical using focus.
Benefits of Art and Music Therapy:
- Reduces emotional stress
- Promotes relaxation
- Improves communication
- Increases mindfulness
- Invigorates the spirit
- Improves the immune system response for healing and emotional wellness
- Increases engagement in meditative practice
- Reduces muscle tension and physical pain responses
- Eases feelings of isolation, loneliness, and boredom
- Inspires people and builds confidence
- Improves concentration and emotional focus
- Opens your soul to creative enrichment and recovery