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Exploring the Benefits of Music Therapy for Adolescents

Exploring the Benefits of Music Therapy for Adolescents

a teen lays on a couch with headphones on to explore the benefits of music therapy

At Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness, we believe in the power of music to heal, unite, and empower. Our music therapy program for adolescents is much more than just a creative outlet; it’s a lifeline, a connection, and a form of expression when words sometimes fail. From helping teens navigate through the turbulent waters of depression to providing a soothing balm for anxiety, the benefits of music therapy are profound and far-reaching.

Harnessing the universal language of music, we strive to provide a supportive, kind, and caring environment where each adolescent feels seen, heard, and valued. Join us as we explore the transformative power of music therapy in the lives of our teenagers—contact 855.940.6229 to learn more about our music therapy program for adolescents.

What Is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is a tool used in an evidence-based therapy treatment plan. Music is used during therapy to improve the patient’s mood and reduce the patient’s stress. It can also be used to help a patient productively express their feelings and emotions. 

The patient doesn’t need to have a strong background in music or be especially gifted in music to utilize music therapy. The therapist can utilize music in various ways during a session to engage the adolescent or help them relax and become more open. 

For some patients, the therapist will use music throughout a session; for others, the entire session might include music therapy. The hope is to help adolescents express themselves more easily, and it might be easier for a teen to do so using music or songs. 

Different Forms of Music Therapy

Music therapy can take various forms, and the therapist might use a trial-and-error approach to find the right form for the patient. Music therapy facilitators can help participants determine which music therapy best suits their needs and comfort level. 

Some of the most common forms of music therapy include:

  • Singing – The patient might sing along to a song that resonates with them.
  • Playing an instrument – The patient can learn a new instrument or practice one they already know how to play. This helps them healthily express their emotions and thoughts.
  • Discuss lyrics – If the adolescent has a song that means something to them, the therapist might encourage a discussion of the lyrics.
  • Write a song or melody – When the patient is musically inclined, the therapist might engage the patient by getting them to write their lyrics. 
  • Listen to music – The patient or therapist might suggest music to explore the meaning for the patient or help them relax. Simply listening to music can have a powerful emotional impact on the patient. 
  • Dancing and moving to music – This can include a complicated dance move or simply clapping their hands to the song’s rhythm. 

While music therapy can be fun, it’s meant to move the dialogue between the patient and the music therapist forward. Also, it should help the patient develop new and healthier ways to express themselves. 

What Conditions Can Music Therapy Treat?

Music therapy can treat several conditions, and a therapist might see the benefit of using music in therapy for teen patients to see if it can help make the patient more successful in their recovery. Music therapy is generally used along with other treatments for various mental or behavioral health conditions. This form of therapy can be very non-threatening and even fun for adolescent participants. 

The most common conditions that music therapy treats include:

  • Trauma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Mood disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Eating disorders

A person’s therapist might suggest using music therapy for conditions that aren’t on this list if they believe it might be beneficial. For instance, music therapy can help teens with their social skills and social anxiety. If a patient is interested in trying music therapy, they may suggest this as a possibility to their therapist. 

Working closely together, the patient and therapist can diagnose the condition and decide to use music therapy. The goal of music therapy may depend on the person’s disorder and their willingness to participate in this type of therapy. 

Benefits of Music Therapy for Adolescents

Music therapy can benefit adolescents in a myriad of ways. This therapy can help the patient emotionally, physically, socially, and more. Adolescents can participate in the therapeutic process in a way that is not intimidating while also receiving some key benefits. Studies have shown numerous benefits to practicing music therapy as a comprehensive treatment plan. 

Here are some benefits to consider:

  • Brings up suppressed memories and feelings so they can be dealt with
  • Mood improvement
  • Lessening of depression symptoms
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps the patient learn to express themselves
  • Reduces the patient’s sense of isolation and loneliness

Music has long been regarded as a way to relax, and people who write and play music are considered artists. Music changes from one generation to the next, and in many ways, it’s a reflection of the current times. The positive effect of music can help patients connect with themselves and help them learn to express their fears, thoughts, and emotions so treatment can bring healing. 

Contact MCAW About Music Therapy in Massachusetts

Music therapy can be an effective tool for helping adolescents who are struggling with mental health issues. The benefits of music therapy are that it can help a teen express their emotions more clearly and calm their racing minds. When performed correctly, music therapy can be an invaluable tool for recovery. 

At the Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness, we work with adolescents struggling with a variety of mental health disorders and can offer music therapy as an option. Our goal is to provide outstanding care and help adolescents to recover with care and compassion. Contact us today at 855.940.6229 to learn more about our services.