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Music Therapy & Addiction- Case Presentation

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Scott Tonkinson, MM, MT-BC

on 10 February 2014

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Transcript of Music Therapy & Addiction- Case Presentation

Case Presentation - Music Therapy and Addiction: Addressing Essential Components in the Recovery Process
- Jim Borling

Addiction as being defined as, "a chronic disorder involving chronic use of a drug or drugs" (p.337).
IOP focuses on the following aspects of recovery:

Music therapy took place at the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Avenues to Recovery

Treatment Format
Therapy sessions conducted weekly over 19 week period.

Sessions took place one time per week.

Increased insight into disease model of addiction
Improved psycho-emotional expression & understanding
Abstinence from substance use
Identification of faulty beliefs & feelings that fuel substance use
Increase social interface
Adopt new coping mechanisms
Explore core concepts of physical, emotional & spiritual recovery
Learning about the addictive process and how it impacts various aspects of one's life.
Providing insight and the development of social systems.
Focusing on physical, psycho-emotional, and psycho-spiritual issues of recovery.
: Over time patient was able to deal in much healthier ways with stress, anxiety, and cravings of use.

: Patient stated that he realized that he did not know who he truly was. He was not authentic, but lost. When other feelings arose that had been subdued by the addiction, Jerry revealed that he had served in Vietnam and that this was the first time he had spoken about it ever.

Through process of group lyric discussion, possiblity for growth and healing emerged allowing patient to tell his story and risk having the stories acknowledged. Songwriting also allowed for success oriented structure as MT provided existing melody. Patient sang one line to the group at the end of the time period and felt feeling of liberation.

Structured Imagery also allowed patient to deal with issues surrounding substance abuse. Through use of spontaneous imagery patient encounter the "sensitive man hiding inside" and was able to dialogue with him and connect with the emotional pain he felt.

Scott Tonkinson, MT-BC
MUE 572
February 11, 2014

Borling, J. (2011). Music Therapy and Addiction: Addressing Essential Components in the Recovery Process. In A. Meadows (Ed.), Developments in Music Therapy

Understanding the physiological effects of addiction and beginning the process of healing both mind and body.
This IOP uses a single comprehensive assessment that includes:
Determination of appropriateness for program participation
General and family history
Alcohol/Drug Use history
Patient and family interview
Substance abuse screening inventory
Goals of Assessment
Two clients cited for use in case study, Jerry & Shirley
Both struggle with substance addiction
Both received music therapy as part of their recovery process

Age - 61
Addiction: Opiates & Methamphetamine
Withdrawal symptoms: Experiencing regular bouts of panic, insomnia, general irritability
Extremely difficult to quiet his mind and separate from what his body is experiencing
Constant daily struggle to return to using

Age - 35
Soft-spoken, humble, single mother
Addiction: Alcohol
Withdrawal symptoms: Experiencing emotional heaviness and distress
Experienced violent episodes w/family & friends
"I feel ashamed for what I've done."
"I hold guilt deep within."

Borling cites, "addiction is often considered to be a three-pronged illness:
, and
. Recovery can and should occur in all three areas to be considered effective and long lasting" (p. 338).
Stress Managment
Physical Movement
Breathing to supportive music
Dance & exercise to music
Drumming to rhythmic foundation
Key Factor
Stress management techniques designed for generalization into daily life.
Increased Expression
Personal Empowerment
Increased Self-Esteem
Lyric discussion
Structured imagery work
Key Factor
MT must be aware of co-morbidity w/undiagnosed disorders.
Jerry - Goals
Stress Managment
Physical Movement
Jerry - Interventions
Breathing to supportive music
Dance & exercise to music
Drumming to rhythmic foundation
Key Factor
Stress managemen techniques designed for generalizaton into daily life.
Shirley - Goals
Increased Expression
Personal Empowerment
Increased Self-Esteem
Shirley - Interventions
Lyric discussion
Structured imagery work
Key Factor
MT must be aware of co-morbidity w/undiagnosed disorders.
Practice: Case Study Perspectives (pp. 334-350). Gilsum, NH: Barcelona.
Shirley & Jerry
Allow patient to develop relationship with higher power
Allow reclamation of feeling human again
Relaxation exercise
Imagery excercise w/ slogan
Post imagery processing
Key Factor
MT must be remain very open-minded and unbiased when topic arises.
: Patient asked to discuss lyrics of the song "Crossroads" by Don McClean. She spoke of her deep religious convictions and her separation from these ideals. Stated she felt numb about being a mother and the responsibilities that came with the role. Patient took the risk of speaking from authentic self and acknowledged that family and friends were correct when they offered that she was not what she used to be.

: Patient admitted to stuggling with her behavior and feelings toward others as in contrast to religious upbringng and values held prior to substance abuse.

Through the process of an imagery exercise, patient was asked to select a phrase to explore more deeply. Patient chose, "Let Go, Let God." Patient was then asked to connect with phrase while music played. Patient stated experienced forgiveness of self and was able to speak in the processing portion of a new relationshp with her Higher Power. The group acted as a witness for her words and affirmed that her thoughts were real, allowing her to futher explore and build the experience into her daily recovery process.

Final Thoughts
Recovery on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level suggests a process of reconnection and reintegration.

Recovery is the reclamation of freedom and the reawakening of what it means to be fully human.

Music therapists must be aware of the physcial, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of practice, as well as remain mindful as to which of these dimensions is being served during therapy.
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