Most patients I see don’t know what music therapy is when they come into treatment, but I encourage them to be open-minded. Some come at it enthusiastically; some a little more reserved, wondering how a music therapy approach can contribute to their recovery. They come to find that we embark on a variety of active playing, writing and listening experiences that lead them toward recovery goals.
The sessions include songs patients can apply to their own lives. One day I played the song, “That’s Why I’m Here” by Kenny Chesney. When it ended, I looked around and saw tear-stained faces. Their responses revealed a keen awareness of the song’s message: “It’s the simple things in life, like the kids at home and a loving wife that you miss the most, when you lose control….”
I allow patients to choose phrases that mean the most to them. Oftentimes, the response I get is that they could not choose just one because every word told their story. This song expressed exactly what they were feeling, but struggled to put in words. I let patients keep the lyrics if they would like, and this is one of the songs that even the most isolated patients will keep because they realize others share their story and that they don’t have to walk the path of recovery alone.
If you want to learn more about Lakeview’s music therapy program and how it benefits treatment in our drug and alcohol rehab, call 1-866.704.7692 .
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