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Enhanced Healing Through Holistic Music

by Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC 

Music has always been a very important part of our lives, from childhood to our being an adult.  As a part of our experience, music can have both a physiological and psychological affect upon us as human beings.  In addition to the influence that it has on our life, music also has many therapeutic qualities and has been utilized in promoting a variety of healings throughout the ages.  As we know further, music can be a very powerful medium for altering our state, of changing how we actually feel.  More specifically music can be very effective in producing a very deep and healing state of relaxation and in the process, reduce stress and even promote sleep.  Music can also be used to assist one in improving his or her self-esteem and furthering an individual's personal growth and development, even his or her transformation and recovery. 

As a therapist working with individuals in recovery at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program, I always use therapeutic relaxation music in my clinical and counseling work.  I have repeatedly found that when I use therapeutic relaxation music during both an individual and group counseling session that my clients do more productive work, are able to focus more effectively on themselves and the issues that they are becoming present to because they are more relaxed, focused and centered and as a result, better able to concentrate.  Being relaxed during the counseling process always tends to generate more productive results for the individual being counseled.  Therapeutic relaxation music can be a very effective and powerful aid for assisting a client to reach resolution with respect to that which he or she is working on with their mental health or addiction counselor.     

The relaxation music that I now utilize during both my individual and group counseling sessions with those in recovery at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program is that which is found on the CD, Prescription for Stress.  The musical patterns that are on Prescription for Stress were originally developed for my work in counseling and especially in my hypnotic work with clients.  In addition to its application for a traditional counseling session with those in recovery, the musical patterns on Prescription for Stress are excellent for assisting in the induction of a hypnotic state in that this music helps the client enter into a very relaxed state of hypnosis more easily.  In the past I have used a variety of other musical compositions in my counseling practice but was very dissatisfied with the results that my clients and I achieved with them.  As a musician I eventually decided to compose my own music and have found the results of my compositions with the clients that I work with to be excellent.  After using the therapeutic relaxation music that I composed for my work in counseling, I also discovered that the music had another application as well, that is, to assist anyone in achieving a very deep state of relaxation and as a result to effectively and efficiently reduce the stress in their lives.  As we know, managing stress is especially important for those in recovery.     

Managing our stress is very important if not crucial to our overall well being.  This ability to manage stress is especially important for a person in the first stages of his or her recovery.  Prescription for Stress, a two CD set, is an audio health care product specially designed to assist an individual in managing and reducing the stress that he or she may experience on a daily basis.  This audio health care product utilizes two components to assist a person in effectively experiencing a very deep state of relaxation, reducing stress and also in promoting a peaceful, restful sleep.  The first component is the musical pattern itself.  I have found that musical compositions that are harmonically slow, repetitious, with sustained voices, which are rhythmically, random in tempo assists an individual in experiencing a very deep state of relaxation.  The second component of this product is the binaural audio tones that are interwoven into the music.  The binaural tones, through a process referred to as "entrainment" or "frequency following," gently guides or directs the mind/body to generate more of the targeted frequency of brain wave activity whether it be for either profound relaxation or sleep.  The first CD of Prescription For Stress contains binaural audio tones within the alpha and theta range, which induces a very relaxed state.  The second CD of the two CD set contains binaural audio tones within the delta range and thereby assists one in experiencing a peaceful, restful sleep.            

Anyone can experience the technology and effect of Prescription for Stress by merely playing it on their home audio system.  Use of this powerful therapeutic relaxation music can be accomplished by listening to it with ones stereo speakers or with headphones, the latter being the more effective way to listen to his product.  Listening to Prescription for Stress with headphones allows one to experience the full effect of the technology, the uniquely designed music compositions combined with the binaural audio tones and thereby gain a deeper state of relaxation.  Those who practice meditation, self-hypnosis or yoga, modalities that are also utilized at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program, will find that their practice is even more enhanced while listening to this audio product.  I highly recommend that all mental health and addiction counselors use this type of product when conducting counseling sessions with their clients whether it is in a group or individual setting.  While many counselors are not present to the power of this type of therapeutic relaxation music when utilized within a counseling context, those who do employ it find that their sessions with a client to be more effective and productive due to the reason stated above.  At the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program this music is utilized daily to enhance and further the counseling process with those in recovery.    

Self-esteem is also extremely essential to ones well-being especially to those who are in recovery.  Enhancing My Self Esteem is an audio health care product uniquely designed to assist an individual in improving his or her self esteem, supporting the development of a positive self-image and promoting the individual's personal growth and development, their recovery and transformation.  Enhancing My Self Esteem will assist a person in changing negative and possibly even destructive thought patterns to positive and empowering beliefs about him or herself.  Utilizing the same combination of original musical compositions and binaural audio tones as Prescription for Stress, Enhancing My Self Esteem is an audio health care product that creates a very profound and relaxing auditory environment, a space for the individual to become open or highly suggestible to a series of very positive affirmations.  Within a conversation of transformation, the thoughts that we think and say or commit to word are very important, very powerful for improving our self-image and transforming our lives.  Enhancing My Self Esteem is an audio product that creates a very relaxed auditory environment for the person to listen to, begin to practice and eventually accept 50 positive affirmations, affirmations designed to improve a person's self esteem and begin the process of transforming his or her life and thereby strengthening their recovery. 

To fully experience the beneficial effects of Enhancing My Self Esteem it is recommended that a person listen to both tracks once a day for a minimum of 90 days.  The first track has been designed for use with your stereo system's speakers and should be listened to during the morning or afternoon hours.  Track One provides a person the opportunity to consciously practice all of the positive affirmations, to commit them to word, to make them real.  Track two has been developed exclusively for use with headphones and should be listened to during the evening hours preferably before the individual goes to sleep.  The second track has been developed for a person's unconscious mind and will be that which the individual takes into his or her dream state.  Each listening should be done when the individual will be completely free of any distractions.  After the first ninety days of use, it is recommended that the person listen to both tracks two times a week for another 90 days to further enhance the beneficial effects.

In addition to anyone wanting to improve their self esteem and further his or her personal transformation and recovery, I also recommend that mental health and addiction-oriented counselors utilize Enhancing My Self Esteem with their clients.  Most of the clients that mental health and addiction counselors see in treatment in either an individual or group setting have a seriously impaired self-image and are continuously experiencing extremely low self-esteem.  For whatever reason the clients that are seen by mental health and addiction oriented counselors tend to have many negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves, many negative self-affirmations about who they think they are.  Assigning Enhancing My Self Esteem as homework for a client to listen to outside of the counseling session allows that client the opportunity to begin a process of improving his or her self-esteem and as a result to be more productive within future counseling sessions.   

I am currently using Enhancing My Self Esteem with all of the clients at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program, a residential and outpatient program in North Miami Beach, Florida that treats individuals who suffer from alcohol and drug dependency.  The Holistic Addiction Treatment Program is agency that utilizes many alternatively oriented treatment modalities including relaxation and stress reducing music.  The vast majority of clients of this agency experience chronic relapse.  Within the conversation of Transformational Counseling, Enhancing My Self Esteem is assigned as homework for all of my clients, as a way of continuing the work that is presented in my individual and group counseling sessions, as a way of transforming the thoughts and words of the client.  The prescription for use of this product is the same as mentioned above.  After the assignment is made I always ask the clients about their use of this product, about what they are becoming present to as they listen.  In addition to assisting the individual in eventually feeling better about themselves and increasing their motivation with respect to their recovery, I have also found that Enhancing My Self Esteem tends to elicit important thoughts and memories from the past, thoughts and memories that are then processed in future counseling sessions. 

Enhancing My Self Esteem is a very powerful, healing product.  With continued use, clients tend to always report that they feel better about themselves and are more motivated, especially with respect to their recovery.  When utilized in conjunction with Transformational Counseling, the effects can be extraordinary for a client.  As Transformational Counseling is about an individual altering or transforming his or her very thoughts and words, that which has defined their very being in the past, Enhancing My Self Esteem is a product that allows a client to powerfully practice their transformation and recovery on a daily basis.  While the basis or foundation for the actual transformation is in an individual's language, in the thoughts that he or she thinks and the very words that they say, the environment from which this takes place is one that is initially created through the power of music.                  

Dr. Harry Henshaw is the Director of Outpatient Services for the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program in North Miami Beach, Florida. Click here for more info.




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