Music Therapy, Regression and Symbolic Distance in Substance Abusers and Their Preferred Music


Tsvia Horesh


Music Therapy Today




The author explores the relationship between recovering substance abusers and music. Music can play a significant part in the self-destructive, obsessive behavior of addicts, contributing to a loss of control over emotions. In therapy, music changes from being a means to becoming the goal. Emotions, memories, and life stories evoked by music are validated and contained. The stories of two addicts are related. They both speak about a regressive experience while listening to music, during which boundaries between themselves and their music are erased. Rehabilitating music-listening habits of addicts can help them to incorporate music into their lives as a source of enjoyment and enrichment.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Emotional Functioning; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Efficacy; Self-Report Measures; Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction

Indexed Terms

Musical Preferences; Behavior; Music Listening; Emotional Responses; Relationships; Drug abuse; Rehabilitation

Study Type

Editorials, Opinions, Position Papers

Document Type