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Music and art therapy and mental illness



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

J Addict Dis. 2008;27(1):41-53. doi: 10.1300/J069v27n01_05. Music therapy: a novel motivational approach for dually diagnosed patients. Ross S, Cidambi I, Dermatis H, Weinstein J, Ziedonis D, Roth S, Galanter M. Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Bellevue Hospital, New York, USA. Stephen.Ross@bellevue.nychhc.org

Co-occurring mental illness and addiction is very common and results in worse treatment outcomes compared to singly diagnosed addicted individuals. Integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders is associated with better treatment outcomes; however there is a wide range of what is included in integrated treatment.

Due to patient and staff interests, integrated treatment often includes complementary and alternative therapies, including music and art therapy.

There is a need to study how these approaches effect treatment engagement, retention, and outcome.

This study was a prospective naturalistic non-randomized pilot study without a control group that sought to evaluate how participation in a music therapy program affected treatment outcomes for individuals with co-occurring mental illness and addiction.

In summary, music therapy appears to be a novel motivational tool in a severely impaired inpatient sample of patients with co-occurring disorders. Future studies of music therapy in integrated co-occurring disorder setting should include a control group.

PMID: 18551887

The source of the experience

Other ill or disabled person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps


Music therapy