Music Therapy For Teens
Adolescence is a time in a young person’s life that is filled with new experiences, physical and emotional maturation, and a newfound desire for autonomy. All the while, teenagers are faced with countless lessons, distinct challenges, and immense external and internal pressures. Many young people are forced to navigate the challenges of adolescence using outdated coping mechanisms that are ineffective, which often result in overwhelming emotions and impulsive behaviors. Fortunately, there are many different types of mental health professionals that are specifically trained to work with adolescents and help guide them through their teenage years.
Music Therapy Basics
The American Music Therapy Association explains music therapy as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” Music therapy relies minimally on verbal communication, and instead places great emphasis on listening to and creating music as a form of therapy. In music therapy, music is used in the context of a therapeutic relationship to address emotional, physical, cognitive, and social needs of teenagers. Music therapy is administered by a board-certified music therapist. It can be conducted in an individual or group setting. Music therapy can be used in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities or on its own.
According to Psychology Today, “All forms of music may have therapeutic effects, although music from one’s own culture may be most effective. In Chinese medical theory, the five internal organ and meridian systems are believed to have corresponding musical tones, which are used to encourage healing. Types of music differ in the types of neurological stimulation they evoke.” There are a variety of physical and mental health benefits of music therapy. Some of the possible physiological changes that can occur in a teenager that participates in music therapy may include but are not limited to the following examples:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved respiration
- Reduced heart rate
- Improved cardiac output
- Relaxed muscle tension
- Lower levels of anxiety
- Increased pain threshold
Music therapy can increase socialization and memory in adolescents. Depending on the young person, exposure to creative outlets and specialized modes of expressive arts therapy, including music therapy, can be helpful in fostering other avenues for communication, self-expression, and growth. Through musical involvement a teenager’s abilities are cultivated, reinforced, and transferred to other areas of his or her life.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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