The music therapy program at Phoenix Society has been an integral part of their residential treatment program and transitional housing program for almost six years now. It is currently shifting and growing in exciting ways!
- Bi-Weekly Experiential emotional processing groups with each of the two men’s treatment floors
- Weekly Experiential emotional processing groups for the mens and womens provincial intensive residential treatment programs
These groups provide residents different modes to express themselves and communicate with one another than their usual talk-based groups.
- Weekly music jam (outside when weather is permitting) for people in recovery to continue to experience things that make them feel connected to themselves and others, and things that are not as heavy or emotionally draining as their daily groups
- Monthly variety show, karaoke night, or music-bingo holiday party
- 3 individual music therapy sessions per week for transitional housing residents who want to use music to deepen their understanding of themselves and connection to themselves
- Bi-Monthly Guitar & Piano Lessons to build creativity and resilience, and encourage new skills
2020 Pilot Project: Phoenix Album
- 11 individuals recorded original songs/poems/raps that expressed their own unique stories
- Project soon to be released and shared with Music Heals!
Phoenix Society serves adults from the age of 19 struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction issues as well as mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or PTSD that create complications to their recovery and integration in mainstream society. Almost all of them have experienced abuse, neglect and trauma, and many have experienced time institutionalized in detention centres or foster/group homes. Many of them experience further marginalization in the form of poverty, racial injustice and stigmatization that comes with homelessness and drug addiction.
- 80% Men; 20% Women
- Mostly from the lower mainland
increasingly more clients coming from Vancouver Island, and the interior of BC
- Almost all are funded through governmental sources, with a few privately paid clients
How does Music Therapy uniquely address the needs of clients at Phoenix Society?
Music therapy is such a unique modality because it touches so many different parts of the human experience. It allows groups who are all experiencing the same music, to have a moment of connection and understanding. Clients can actively participate in music therapy by singing, writing music or playing instruments, but they can also participate by listening and speaking about how the music affects them. These two options work well in the treatment setting, as sometimes residents are not willing or able to play music themselves. Music Therapy helps with Socialization, Impulse control, Emotional awareness, Self-expression, Creativity, imagination & enjoyment, Relaxation and regulation of stress response, and overall Wellness.
How has COVID-19 impacted the program?
Suspended in-person sessions for a total of 8 weeks
Able to offer remote sessions however because of the nature of the clients needs and the uncertain environment, sessions were difficult to conduct
Created series of guided, song-based relaxation recordings on Youtube channel for residents
Restarting the program at the facility meant bigger groups outside for the summer to ensure proper social distancing.