Music and art move beyond words to communicate through creative expression. The Villa Treatment Center uses art and music therapy as an alternative treatment for addiction. Many of our clients come to us to work through their addiction when they cannot find immediate ways to express their feelings and emotions through words. Music and art therapy open up a new world for those suffering from the isolation and constant sense of hopelessness that can come with substance dependency.
Art and music therapy have been in use for over fifty years as an alternative treatment; many medical clinics use this therapy to treat memory loss issues, recover from past trauma, and accelerate healing after surgical procedures. Music carries a power of its own that can enhance memory recall, help people focus on particular emotions and reveal solutions to problems, as the brain becomes activated with sound. Creating art through sculpture, painting and drawing can help to refocus the mind and learn through the study of human emotions.
There are a number of ways to treat addiction through music and art therapy. At The Villa Treatment Center, we look to teach the fundamentals of each method, then to apply them in our group sessions. Art therapy develops through creation by painting, sculpting, woodwork, pottery, and drawing. Through the creation of art and wordless expression, we can focus, learn about our feelings and how to communicate them. Creating any form of art is a release of stressful hormones that can cause relapse and support feelings of isolation. Art encourages us to work with our hands, our touch receptors, to create something that represents a piece of who we are. As we teach independent creation and expression, we also provide interpretive therapy sessions where we focus on famous works of art and the message these pieces bring to the viewer. We teach our clients that each piece has a meaning and portrays a side of the artist. Once those suffering from addiction feel a strong connection to their art and interpret emotions through art, they learn more about themselves.
We Are Not Our Addiction
Our addiction does not define us. There are many things that contribute to the depth of our humanity. Creating art helps us to understand that we are deeply human and vulnerable.
The focus and time we put into our art can help us to channel our emotions and to learn new ways of dealing with them. Art and music therapy teach us to move outside of ourselves and to find the means to overcome these feelings of dependency. We can be independent of alcohol, drugs, and behaviors. Instead of hiding from our emotions we embrace them to create beautiful music and art. Through art and music, we can uncover many of the things locked away in our memories from a series of traumatic events and intense stress. At The Villa Treatment Center, we foster support, awareness, community, and independence; we will help you realize that you are not alone in your addiction.
Music therapy is another way we learn to discover our feelings, and reveal how we think and learn. Through music, we’re able to recall specific memories tied to moments when we were happy, sad, worried, angry, elated, and content. Different genres of music can bring out distinct emotions. Through listening, we can recall specific moments in our lives when we first encountered a difficult situation that perhaps played a role in our turn toward addiction. Through music, we learn meditation, self-reflection, and memory. The senses are powerful in recalling each memory and the feelings we had at that moment in time. Music not only helps us to reflect but drives us and inspires us to be more and want more from ourselves. Recovery seems possible as we are moved by music to regain our healthy lives.
During these music therapy sessions, we learn to listen and reflect, but we can also create. When we hear beautiful music, we wish there was a way for us to recreate it. We feel the artist’s emotions through the music. Poetry and music come together to bring us love, empowerment, laughter, sadness, understanding, and clarity. These music therapy sessions allow us to learn to play musical instruments and redirect these unexpressed sentiments.
We begin by simply learning the sounds of each instrument and how it resonates within us. No matter what your chosen instrument, the first thing is to connect with it and then to create. Music flows through every individual naturally without any particular objective. You will play the music that lives within you, without coaxing. That is the objective in therapy. Music has also been proven throughout the medical community to lower stress levels significantly. Those with dual diagnosis disorder of anxiety, in any form, will decrease the severity of anxiety as they focus on their creative side and remove themselves from negative thoughts.