Music is a powerful tool for healing that has been used in various settings throughout history. Music therapy uses the intrinsic mood-enhancing properties of music to help improve mental health and overall well-being. The psychological impacts of music are powerful and far-reaching. Music therapy programs have become acclaimed as highly effective mental health treatment programs for numerous mental health disorders in people of all ages, including teens.
Imagine Nampa provides outpatient mental health programs in Idaho for teens aged 12-17. We offer evidence-based treatment for adolescents and their families to address the impacts of teen mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and co-occurring substance use disorders. We have carefully designed our programs to help teens develop coping skills and strategies to manage mental health symptoms and achieve their recovery goals. Call 208.203.8574 to learn more about our mental health programs.
What Is Music Therapy for Mental Health?
Music therapy is the evidence-based clinical use of music to achieve therapeutic goals. A trained music therapist leads music therapy in individual and group settings. Music therapy can be active, where participants partake in creating music, or passive, where the focus is on listening and responding to music. Most music therapists use a combination of techniques.
Some of the approaches to music therapy include:
- Cognitive-behavioral music therapy (CBMT) – Music is used to reinforce certain behaviors and reshape others. This structured approach can involve singing, dancing, playing instruments, and listening to music.
- Community music therapy – Done in a group setting, this requires active participation from all members to facilitate change on a community level.
- Bonny method of guided imagery and music (GIM) – Classical music is used to stimulate the imagination. Participants explain the memories, feelings, and sensations they experience while listening to music.
- Benenzon music therapy – Combines the process of making music with elements of psychoanalysis. Participants search for their musical sound identity, which describes external sounds that reflect their psychological state.
- Analytical music therapy – Participants are encouraged to use improvisational musical “dialog” to express unconscious thoughts and feelings through singing or playing an instrument.
Music therapy is used in various settings to address physical, psychological, and behavioral issues in people of all ages. Anyone can engage in and benefit from music therapy, regardless of musical ability. Music therapy influences an individual’s physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, social, and cognitive well-being.
The Benefits of Music Therapy for Teens
Good mental health is essential to overall well-being at every age. It is particularly vital for children and adolescents who are still developing physically, emotionally, mentally, and neurologically. Most adolescents consider their musical tastes to be an integral part of their personality and identity. In fact, music has been shown to contribute to the process of identity formation.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately one in five teens suffer from at least one mental health disorder, indicating the significant need for adolescent mental health treatment programs. On its own, music therapy is not sufficient to treat mental health disorders, but it can be an integral part of comprehensive adolescent mental health treatment. Some of the top benefits of music therapy for teens include the following:
- Improving communication skills
- Fostering the development of bonds with others
- Processing difficult emotions
- Learning to regulate emotions
- Encouraging self-reflection
- Identifying how thoughts and feelings influence behaviors and choices
- Processing and recovering from trauma
- Reducing stress and tension
Music therapy is non-invasive and can increase engagement in the therapeutic process. Music therapy is highly beneficial for teens who struggle with verbal expression and for working through trauma that is difficult to talk about. Song lyrics can help teens find the words to express their thoughts and feelings.
What Do Teens Do in Music Therapy?
The impact of music on the brain is complex, with different aspects of music, such as rhythm, tempo, melody, and pitch, being processed in separate areas. Music therapists take time to get to know your musical likes and dislikes, identify your strengths and challenges, discuss your trauma history and triggers, and identify therapeutic goals.
In addition to listening to music to elicit and process memories, thoughts, and feelings, music therapy can involve:
- Composing music
- Writing lyrics
- Dancing or moving to music
- Interpreting lyrics
- Playing instruments
- Breathing exercises and music meditation
Music therapy effectively treats many issues, including behavior disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, ADHD, trauma, and substance use disorders. Music therapy can foster spiritual, cognitive, emotional, social, physical, and psychological healing and growth.
Contact Imagine Nampa for a Music Therapy Program in Nampa, ID
Imagine Nampa provides comprehensive, evidence-based, holistic, outpatient treatment for teens ages 12-17. We offer partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs to treat mental health, behavioral, and co-occurring substance use disorders in a safe, supportive, inclusive environment. Contact us at 208.203.8574 to learn more about the benefits of a music therapy program for your teen.