Group Therapy meets music therapy

People in Group Therapy

Traditional group therapy at a drug rehab

There is nothing extraordinary about a man who plays the song “I won’t back down” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to a group of people sitting in a circle. But when this gathering is participating in Group Therapy at a drug and alcohol treatment center – then heads may start to turn and make some wonder what exactly is going on here.

Cove Clinical Director performing music before group therapy

Playing music with meaning before a group therapy session is common-place at the Cove Center for Recovery drug and alcohol treatment center. The songs that are played have significance to the group like the 80’s hit “I won’t back down,” by Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers.

The lyrics below attest to the relevancy for someone in recovery

I won’t back down

Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

No, I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground and I won’t back down

Well, I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out chafeur
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
No, I won’t back down

Music is something that many people in recovery listen to and strongly identify with. It is this reason why Michael Price, the clinical director of the Cove follows this practice. He has experienced much success encouraging clients to dissect songs that he sings and plays on his acoustic guitar that relate to the group’s current challenges that they are trying to overcome in recovery.

“Once I finish the song, we then discuss its significance as it relates to them. This has led to many highly productive discussions that have positively impacted the group in so many ways,” said Price.

Michael has worked in the addiction treatment profession for over 16-years and has had the honor of collaborating with music giants like Steven Tyler and Richie Supa of Aerosmith.

“As a practice we use music therapy in an effort to replace their desire for drugs and/or alcohol. Our mantra at the Cove is to take the best parts of music to transform our clients on an individual level and ultimately break down the barriers that addicts tend to build.

“Once I finish the song, we then discuss its significance as it relates to them. This has led to many highly productive discussions that have positively impacted the group in so many ways.” 

Michael Price, Clinical Director of the Cove

People have been using music as a therapeutic tool for thousands of years, but only recently has it emerged as an effective and long-lasting way to combat drug and alcohol addiction as well as mental health disorders.

Price is convinced music therapy when effectively utilized in an addiction treatment center is becoming more and more popular because it connects with such a large range of people.

“And you don’t have to sing or play an instrument to benefit by music’s therapeutic effects,” Price said. “All you have to do is listen to reap the rewards it provides to our clients.”

“We have found that people from every walk of life are able to connect with some form of music in therapy because of music’s diversity and ability to reach people on a guttural level that works in tandem with traditional 12-step therapeutic practices,” added Price.