Mental health treatment programs for teens come in a wide variety of forms. Some programs provide primary treatment. This means that they are used to help most people affected by a given mental health condition. Other programs are less common but can still provide important secondary treatment. A great example of an option in this second category is music therapy. A music therapy program can support your teen’s recovery process in multiple ways.
What Is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is defined as the use of music to improve mental or physical health. Treatment of this type has been in use since the 1940s. A music therapy program may use a variety of activities to achieve its goals. Examples of these activities include:
- Listening to songs while appreciating their lyrics or musical content
- Analyzing a song’s music or lyrics more closely
- Composing or improvising new songs
- Singing along to music either individually or in groups
- Using music as a support for planned or improvised movement
A music therapy program may also help your teen learn how to play an instrument.
These kinds of activities may seem trivial. However, music therapy is an evidence-based treatment. This means that it has benefits that are supported by reputable scientific studies.
The Uses of Music Therapy for Teens
Music therapy does not focus on musical excellence. Instead, music is used for its treatment value. What is music therapy’s value for teenagers receiving mental health care? Research shows that a properly designed program can play a role in recovery from conditions such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Major depression
- Specific phobia and other anxiety disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
Music therapy can also help teens recover from conditions related to trauma exposure.
Benefits of a Music Therapy Program
The potential benefits of music therapy are wide-ranging. On the emotional front, the therapy can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. In addition, it can contribute to an overall improvement in your teen’s everyday mood. Crucially, music therapy provides a nonverbal avenue for self-expression. In this way, it may help teenagers access thoughts and feelings that would otherwise remain out of reach.
There are also physical benefits to music therapy for teens. Participation in this kind of therapy can help lower your child’s breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. As a result, it can potentially ease stress and provide a greater sense of relaxation.
Where Does Music Therapy Fit Into a Mental Health Treatment Plan?
Mental health professionals classify music therapy as a form of complementary and alternative medicine or CAM. CAM options are not replacements for standard mental health treatments. Instead, doctors combine them with standard treatments. The goal is to add an extra, supportive element to a larger recovery plan.
While in treatment, your teen will typically participate in music therapy at least once a week. The rest of the time, they will work on other aspects of their recovery. As a rule, the main focus is standard treatment with psychotherapy and/or medication. Your child’s plan may also include other CAM options. In addition, it may include specialized treatment for co-occurring substance problems.
Turn to Imagine’s Music Therapy Program in Spokane, WA
Looking for a music therapy program in Spokane, WA? Talk to the mental health professionals at Imagine. We can answer any questions you may have about this form of treatment. We can also help you determine if your teenager will benefit from music therapy.
Imagine takes a comprehensive approach to music therapy for teens. We feature options designed to appeal to adolescents with a wide range of backgrounds and personal experiences. To learn more about our program, call us today at 509.870.3810 or fill out our online form.