Challenge America – Treating PTSD With Songwriting
When Aspen-based folk singer and music therapist Mack Bailey founded his nonprofit organization in 2019 to assist military veterans, his goal was simple: treat PTSD symptoms through songwriting. To this end, he’s held retreats where small groups of veterans collaborate with local songwriters for two days to craft a song together.
In addition to working with groups, musicians can also offer one-on-one sessions. This type of interaction helps patients build connections and feel heard when their ideas are expressed through music.
Music therapy can be especially beneficial for children and families, helping reduce anxiety and stress while elevating their mood and overall wellbeing. Furthermore, music therapy may serve as an effective remedy when dealing with grief.
Research has also indicated that music therapy may facilitate social interaction and interpersonal relationships for those recovering from illness, injury or other medical conditions. Indeed, research suggests music therapy to be particularly helpful for individuals suffering from neurological disorders as well as mental health challenges like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression.
Music therapy not only helps reduce pain, stress and anxiety but it can also enhance cognitive function. Music stimulation stimulates the brain to learn new information which in turn improves memory retention and attention spans.
Music therapy can be an effective treatment for dementia patients, as it encourages self-expression and raises awareness of emotions in a patient’s environment. Furthermore, music therapy increases a person’s sense of identity, independence and quality of life by encouraging social interaction.
Challenge America offers weekend retreats as an alternative to traditional face-to-face music therapy, where board-certified music therapists collaborate with active duty service members and military veterans from coast to coast. During these workshops, professional songwriters and music therapists guide participants through the songwriting process in order to help them express their emotions and gain perspective into their journey.
This organization collaborates with local and national organizations to increase access to music therapy services for Active Duty Service Members and Veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury or other military service-related traumas.
Music therapists are educated in culturally appropriate interventions. This means they can utilize techniques and establish goals that reflect the client’s culture. Furthermore, music therapists strive to develop multicultural competence through lifelong education and self-reflection so their therapeutic approaches reflect the client’s values.
Music therapists must demonstrate empathy and be sensitive to their patients’ cultural backgrounds, as they may go through significant changes during their musical journey and have differing expectations about how treatment should proceed. Therefore, music therapists must be able to comprehend patient needs and make appropriate recommendations based on them – after all, they are the people best equipped to help these individuals reach their individual recovery objectives.