Many teenagers are music fans. Some teens fall into the category of casual listeners. However, for others, music may play a much more central role in everyday life. In either of these circumstances, a love for music can be used effectively in mental health recovery. In fact, in particular, teens may benefit from making a music therapy program part of their treatment plan. This kind of program relies on various music-related activities to support mental health improvement.
The Basics of Music Therapy
The existence of music therapy programs dates all the way back to the 1940s. Today, these programs have been fine-tuned through decades of research and practical experience. A trained therapist conducts all sessions of the therapy. In a given session, use is made of methods such as:
- Passive music appreciation
- A more active form of music or lyric analysis
- Improvised song-making
- Creation of structured, non-improvised songs
- Musical instrument instruction
- A blending of music with movement or other activities
All of these methods share one important thing in common. Namely, studies show that they can play a significant supporting role in improving your teen’s mental health.
Anyone can participate in the therapy, regardless of their previous experiences with music. That’s true because music-making is not the point in and of itself. Instead, your teen’s therapist always has the goal of mental health recovery in mind.
Known Benefits of Music Therapy Services
Teen music therapy programs are known to support recovery from many of the most common adolescent mental health challenges. That includes such things as:
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Unresolved trauma
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorders
- Drug and alcohol problems
Why is music therapy effective? In some cases, it directly supports an easing of the symptoms of mental illness. That’s true, in part, because the therapy doesn’t need to rely on words. Instead, it fosters nonverbal expression. The result is another avenue for meaningful communication. Having access to this resource can help elevate your child’s mood or make them feel less anxious. That can be especially important for teens who feel uncomfortable or incapable of communicating through spoken conversation.
Music therapy services can also deliver some key physical benefits. For example, they can help your child shut off an overactivated fight-or-flight response. In turn, this deactivation provides protection from the physical effects of unrelieved stress. Specific positive impacts known to occur include lower blood pressure and a healthier heart rate.
The Role of a Teen Music Therapy Program in Overall Treatment
Music programs are never the core of effective mental health treatment. Instead, they play a secondary role in a larger overall recovery plan. Behavioral psychotherapy and medication are the mainstays in such a plan. Your child will spend most of their time in treatment using these options. In contrast, participation in music-based therapy sessions occurs maybe once or twice a week.
For these reasons, music therapy belongs to many evidence-based treatments classified as complementary or alternative care. Other complementary options may also be used in your child’s specific plan.
Find Music Therapy in Colorado at Imagine Fort Collins
Want to know more about the therapeutic advantages of music in teen mental health treatment? Contact the professionals at Imagine Fort Collins. We can answer any questions you may have. We can also give you a fuller picture of the therapy’s inner workings. Imagine Fort Collins features an in-house music therapy program. Together with our other available treatments, the therapy helps form a customized care plan. Contact Imagine Fort Collins today at 970.680.5887 to learn more about how we create these plans. You can also reach out through our online form.