Depression is one of the four most common mental health issues among American teenagers. If your child is affected by this condition, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Depression specialists working with teens use a number of methods to support an effective return to well-being. One potential option is music therapy. Research shows that a music therapy program for teens can significantly benefit depression recovery.
Defining Music Therapy
Music therapy is a form of complementary mental health treatment. This means that it’s not designed to replace options such as psychotherapy and medication. Instead, it’s designed to add to or complement the benefits of these options.
A music therapy program may use many different techniques to support its goals. Activities your teen may have access to include:
- Composing music or creating it through improvisation
- Examining how music compositions work
- Writing song lyrics
- Discussing the meaning of song lyrics
- Taking part in music listening sessions
- Pairing music with choreographed or improvised movement
- Learning how to play an instrument
Your child doesn’t need to have a musical background to participate in the therapy. That’s true because the focus is not on musical mastery. Instead, music therapy focuses on providing your teen with enjoyable, beneficial creative outlets.
The Importance of Creative Outlets in Depression Treatment
Acts of creativity are known to help ease the effects of depression. They do this in several ways. First, a creative outlet can help your teen express feelings that would otherwise remain trapped or hidden. Creativity can also make your child feel calmer and more relaxed. Why?
Creative activity encourages your brain to release the feel-good chemical dopamine. This chemical serves as a kind of natural antidepressant. In addition, creativity tends to support increased physical well-being. That’s important because improved physical function can help boost your child’s typical mood.
Other Reasons to Use Music Therapy for Depression Treatment
There are also other good reasons for seeking music therapy for depression. Research indicates that the therapy can help give your teen a sense of meaning and purpose. It can also help provide a sense of discipline and accomplishment. In addition, your child may benefit from developing the physical skills needed to play music.
The Effectiveness of Music Therapy on Depression
Music therapy is an evidence-based mental health treatment. This means that it has been rigorously studied by experienced researchers. It also means that those researchers have determined that the therapy works for substantial numbers of people.
What does the evidence say in regard to music and depression? Studies show that music therapy can help teens affected by depression:
- Ease their depression symptoms
- Relieve any associated symptoms of anxiety
- Function better in multiple aspects of daily life
Music therapy works best when combined with medication and psychotherapy. People who receive this added form of treatment tend to have better outcomes than those who don’t. At the same time, music therapy has no known negative effects. Together, these features make music therapy a vital recovery resource for many teenagers.
Discover Music Therapy for Depression at Imagine Spokane
Want to know more about music therapy as a complementary depression treatment? The adolescent mental health experts at Imagine Spokane are standing by to assist you. We’ll explain the details of how a music therapy program works. We can also help you decide if the therapy fits the needs of your teen affected by depression.
Music therapy is just one of the recovery support options offered by Imagine. Every day, we use it to help teenagers from all walks of life overcome the effects of depression. To learn more, just call us today at 509.870.3810. You can also contact us through our online information form.