Addictive Behaviors and Music Therapy
There are many treatments for addictive behavioral addictions that psychologists employ. For example, individuals are sometimes given antidepressants or medications that affect the reward centers in the brain, thereby discouraging and lessening the pleasurable effects of the drugs or addictive behaviors that they are engaging in. Another treatment method is to wean themselves off a drug (eg. Nicotine in cigrettes) gradually, and use cognitive behavioral therapy to help them develop alternative coping strategies.
If I had the courage, I would have studied music overseas, in particular music therapy. As a psychology student with a special interest in music therapy, I can’t help but wonder how music therapy could fit into the world of addictions. Although music therapy is a very small and new field in Asia, it is a widely recognized and growing field in the West. I have read how music therapy is used with children with special needs, dementia, halfway homes, prisons… but after some googling, I was delighted to learn that there are music therapists in the field of addictions who have employed music therapy to successfully achieve their treatment goals!
Other Interesting Psychology Hubs
- Operant Conditioning Principles used for Parenting
Parenting can be one of the most rewarding experiences life can offer. Yet it can also be one of the most painful and punishing. Bringing up a child involves so much investment of time, energy, love and...
- Addictions from a Economic and Political Perspective
- The Left-Handed Dilemma - a Psychological Viewpoint ...
Animals exhibit equal paw preference, while13% of the human population display lefthandedness, leaving the majority right-handed or ambidextrous[i]. A suggestion for this phenomenon is the development of...
- Grandma and the Transtheoretical Model of Change
Grandma can be quite a peculiar character, and in this hub I want to tell her story through the lens of the Transtheoretical Model of Change.
One inspiring study I read told of how the formation of a drumming group to complement current addiction therapies successfully prevented relapse in clients - social connectedness, positive sensations that emerged during drumming were some of the ingredients that helped to eliminate emotional distress and even create inroads into the spirituality (Winkelman, 2003).
In fact, a more recent study by Baker, Gleadhill and Dingle (2007) reported how substance abusers experienced the emotional highs gained from substance abuse during music therapy sessions. Perhaps in the near future, clients will not need treatments like methadone if music can effectively mimic the effects of these other drugs. Music therapy is versatile – it is non-evasive and speaks to people of all different ages, the combinations of groups of people that it can be conducted with are endless ie. With individuals, groups, spouses…
I find it really exciting that music can be used so powerfully to help people in their different places of need, especially now that I have discovered several new domains for music therapy, including those who are struggling with addictive behaviors. Whenever I read stories of how music therapy has made a special change in someone’s life, it really makes me wish I could be a music therapist. This is such a promising field and one day, I hope that more countries will be more receptive and welcoming to alternative and creative therapies.
Music Therapy Resources
An Inspiring Video About Creative Therapy
More by this Author
- 5Run Cockroach Run! Uber Cool Psychology Study: Social Facilitation Theory - the Audience Effect (the Zajonc Experiment)
The Social Facilitation Theory is a social psychology theory that suggests that our natural dominant response is amplified in the presence of an audience.
If you have an INFJ friend, this article will would give you ideas for how to make their birthday special without overwhelming them with surprises.
- 1Sociology: Criticism of Merton's Strain Theory: A Critique and How it Fits With the Functionalist Theory of Deviance
A sociology essay that addresses how Robert Merton's Strain Theory fits into the functionalist theory. Thereafter, I critique Strain Theory from the angle of other classic sociological perspectives, such as conflict,...