Music Therapy for Mental Health
What is “mental health”?
The phrase “mental health” is pretty broad and can mean a lot of different things to different people, but mental health is an important part of everyone’s life - no matter who you are!
Generally speaking, mental health includes the wellbeing of a person’s psychological and emotional state. Even though mental health is something that affects everyone, people don’t receive a mental health related diagnosis until a behavior or mental pattern is significantly distressing and impacts a person’s daily functioning.
At Dynamic Lynks, we specialize in using music therapy to encourage overall wellbeing for our clients and to address mental health diagnoses such as anxiety and depression.
Why Music Therapy?
For those experiencing mental health conditions, self-care activities and tasks (therapy included) can be extremely challenging. Music therapy is a fun, engaging, and motivating way to engage in therapeutic treatment! Music therapy is also a safe and non-invasive treatment for mental health conditions as it does not involve medication.
How can music therapy improve mental health?
The simple answer that anyone can tell you is that music makes you feel good! In the field of music therapy we have researched this to understand “why” music makes us feel good in order for us to use music as a purposeful tool to improve mental health. Music Therapists study how the brain and body responds to specific music interventions to produce measurable, positive change in our clients.
Music Therapists create individualized musical experiences to support different emotional states such as using music to relax, decrease anxiety, improve positive affect, increase self-esteem, and a variety of other goal areas.
We have all heard the phrase “when words fail, music speaks” and this becomes an important aspect of why music therapy for mental health works. Music therapy can be a fun and motivating way to practice one’s strengths and connect with others, without using verbal communication.
Common Music Therapy Interventions
Music Therapists are trained in a variety of approaches and protocols to work on mental health goals. Specific interventions are designed by the music therapist to meet each individual’s specific needs.
Analyzing the lyrics to a song can provide a platform for poeple to discuss topics and emotions that may be difficult to express.
By discussing the lyrics of a song that may have a similar emotional content or life situation, the client may feel safer discussing what they are going through due to some distance the client can have from the content being presented in a song.
Clients are encouraged to figure out their own interpretation of a song and possibly gain tools from the lyrics.
Playing an instrument in music therapy can be used for a variety of purposes. A client may play the piano to practice leisure skills, learn coping skills, or gain a sense of accomplishment.
Playing instruments through improvisation can also provide an opportunity for the client to express and release emotions cathartically without having to use words.
Playing instruments with a strong tactile sensation can also provide an integrated sensory experience. This can be used to promote reality orientation for those who may be disassociating or experiencing a form of psychosis.
Music Assisted Relaxation
Music therapists use specific, structured interventions to support and encourage positive feelings of relaxation to decrease stress and anxiety.
The client can also learn to use music as a coping tool or to promote a positive and calm mood outside of the therapy setting.
Who benefits from Music Therapy?
Truly anyone can benefit from music therapy for mental health goals, whether that person has a diagnosis or not! At Dynamic Lynks, we specialize in the treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults with mental health needs.
If you are interested in music therapy services, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!