The Healing Power of Music

The 19th-century Danish author, Hans Christian Anderson, wrote “where words fail, music speaks.” Often times, it is difficult to verbalize our deepest thoughts and feelings. We simply cannot find the right words; however music provides a way to do just that. Music has the power to release our worries, fears and uncertainties, take us to the most unimaginable places, free us from negative stress and frustration, and put words to our thoughts and feelings. Due to these benefits and more, music therapy is a growing field. Today, music is being used in a variety of treatment centers across the country and the world. Music is a universal modality that soothes the soul and promotes healing. Think about all the songs you listen to…there is our designated happy song, sad song, angry song, fearful song, fun song, exercise song… the list goes on and on. As a therapist, I am always researching ways to connect with my clients and help them achieve wellness. Sometimes talk therapy is just not enough, and thus having a toolbox filled with various therapeutic modalities is essential. Recently, music has been one of my “go to” tools. Maybe it can be one of yours too! Grab your iPhone or iPod and get lost in the music.


Dealing with Feelings in Early Substance Abuse Recovery

The emotional rollercoaster can be treacherous in early recovery but there are things that the individual can do to make the ride easier including:

* Attendance at a recovery group can be a great way to get support and advice during the early months of recovery. Here the newly sober individual can spend time with other people who have dealt with same challenges. Not only will they find support but also practical advice.
* Regular attendance with a therapist or addiction specialist can help the individual to talk about their problems and learn new ways of dealing with strong emotions.
* Guilt can be extremely destructive in early recovery. The most important thing is to focus on the future and not on the past. The fact that the individual is putting their addiction behind them means that they are on the right track. Once the person has made it through early recovery they can then start thinking about making amends. They have the rest of their life do this. Guilt is one of the main relapse triggers so it should be avoided.
* Medical advice should only be taking seriously if the person giving it is qualified to do so. If people are concerned about their emotional or mental health they should speak to a professional. It could be that they have an undiagnosed mental health condition. They will only be able to resolve this situation by getting the proper medical treatment. Failure to do so could be putting their recovery in jeopardy.


Understanding Multiple Pathways

There are many paths of recovery. People will choose their recovery pathway based on cultural values, socio-economic status, psychological and behavioral needs, and the nature of their substance use disorder. With such a personal and varied stake it is impossible to categorize every single type of recovery. However, there are several large areas that recovery falls into.

Types of Recovery Paths:

  • Natural Recovery

  • Recovery Mutual Aid Groups

  • Medication-Assisted Recovery

  • Peer-Based Recovery Supports

  • Family Recovery

  • Technology-Based Recovery

  • Alternative Recovery Supports

This is a refreshing approach to treatment as most centers are focused on a singular pathway. At Relevance, clients are exposed to all of them and allowed to choose which they want to practice and apply.

We teach the following pathways at Relevance

SMART Recovery Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a science-based mutual-support program to help people overcome addictions. SMART empowers people to assume responsibility for their recovery using a 4-Point Program: 1. Building and Maintaining Motivation, 2. Coping with Urges, 3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors, and 4. Living a Balanced Life. Using the four points as a framework, people create a course of action tailored to their own interests and needs. SMART meetings are led by trained facilitators and are highly interactive, action oriented, positive, and focus on the present and future.

Refuge Recovery is a mindfulness-based addiction recovery community that practices and utilizes Buddhist philosophy as the foundation of the recovery process.


12-Step Fellowships is a twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems. Originally proposed by Bill Wilson to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a method of recovery from alcoholism, the Twelve Steps were first published in the 1939 book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism. The method was adapted and became the foundation of other twelve-step programs. Some of the largest and most widely used 12-Step fellowships include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Cocaine Anonymous.

Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered program with foundations firmly established in Biblical truth. The 12 Steps with accompanying Scriptures and the 8 Principles based on the Beatitudes offer participants a clear path of salvation and discipleship; bringing hope, freedom, sobriety, healing, and the opportunity to give back one day at a time through our one and only true Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

Recovery 2.0 is a global movement that embraces a holistic approach to recovery from addiction of all kinds. The community honors all effective paths to recovery and emphasizes the importance of mind body practices such as yoga and meditation, athletics, nutrition and community as part of an effective path to recovery and joy in life


Often called ‘self-help’ groups or ‘support’ groups, these groups are small scale community-oriented groups where people suffering from Substance Use Disorders meet and provide support to each other. These groups provide a safe space for people to share stories, talk about challenges, or share personal achievements, often with an overarching framework guiding the group purpose. Mutual Support Groups are often an initial destination for people hoping to find recovery, and also serve to help people maintain long-term recovery. Most mutual aid groups meet face to face, but there are web-based groups as well.

CFC Loud N Clear Foundation offers open and free multiple pathway meetings seven days a week.


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William White Papers

Healing in Recovery

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Self-Esteem in Early Recovery

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