Music is a big part of a teen’s life. Your favorite songs seem to have the perfect lyrics, describing exactly the way you feel. Or the beat might be just the right rhythm to mirror your thoughts and feelings. Music, no matter the song or the style, can be a great tool to get in touch with emotions and the rhythm of your life.
In fact, because music can be so healing, there is modality that uses music to help others heal. It’s called teen music therapy. Music therapy can include using songs and music in general to help a person heal, and it’s usually done in a therapeutic environment. It includes playing music or creating music in order to help manage physical, emotional, or cognitive challenges. Especially in teens, using music as a healing tool, can help to stimulate creativity and boost self esteem.
Typically, a music therapist is trained to use music with their clients in order to bring about change. Often, teen music therapy involves listening to music, but in many cases, it can involve creating your own music. In fact, artistic expression can be incredibly rewarding. You can get deeply in touch with yourself and enjoy the pleasure of self-expression. When you are creative, you have the opportunity to get in touch with what’s inside of you. You can access what you want to express, including what you need to express but haven’t had the courage to do so.
The benefits of music therapy include:
- Reduces levels of stress.
- Encourages the relaxation response.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Lessens symptoms of depression.
- Elicits positive emotions.
- Can become a coping tool for challenging moments
- Elicits creativity and inspiration in someone.
- Fosters optimism
- Boosts the immune system
- Promotes overall healing
- Improves levels of concentration
- Can reduce muscle tension
- Can be used to help manage chronic pain – instead of drugs and alcohol
- Can be used as an antidote to boredom (Boredom can often prompt people to drink or use drugs.)
- Can facilitate an emotional release
- Can be used as a tool in recovery
- Can be used to elicit positive memories
Typically, music is used in conjunction with other tools in therapy. If you love music and you’re in therapy, consider bringing music into your session as a way to talk about something. For instance, if you’re angry, bring in a song that expresses what you’re feeling. You can listen to it together with your therapist and the two of you can discuss it. Your therapist may be using tools you’re not aware of, but the music can get you going on a subject that might be hard to bring up or discuss otherwise.
To get the most out of a music therapy session, it’s best to work with a qualified professional who has been trained in the use of music for healing. You might find one at a teen treatment center or in your local neighborhood. If you’re struggling with an issue and if you’re not already in therapy, talk to an adult you trust about finding a music therapist to work with. Music can help to heal and alleviate the struggles in your teen