From Kathryn Rudlin, LCSW
Music therapy uses music and songs as therapeutic tools to help teens heal by encouraging self-expression and self-awareness.
A music therapist trained to help a teen deal with troubling problems or behaviors through the use of music facilitates this process. Music is used in various ways such as writing songs, listening to the lyrics of specific songs or discussing how particular music changes the way a teen is feeling.
Music appeals to many teens who discover that the words in popular songs often express their own feelings and experiences. Teens tend to gravitate to music describing what they are feeling and what is important to them.
Examples of How Music Therapy Helps a Troubled Teen:
- Singing along with the lyrics of a song provides the healthy release of painful or difficult emotions
- Soothing music helps an anxious teen to relax
- Discussing the violent lyrics of a song helps an angry teen express his rage
- Upbeat music helps a depressed teen improve her mood
- Writing new lyrics to a song helps identify the reasons for feelings of sadness
Music therapy is one of several types of expressive therapies that help troubled teens gain self-understanding and learn better ways to cope with their lives.
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