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Recovery Unplugged Featured in El Paso Inc. Article

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 24, 2017 9:04:17 AM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery Unplugged, Music Therapy, Addiction Treatment, El Paso Inc.

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elpasoinclogo.png Recovery Unplugged had the honor of being featured on the popular Texas News and Lifestyle website last week. The piece highlighted the Recovery Unplugged treatment approach and the positive impact of music in addiction treatment. It also included first-hand insight from some of our very own staff and former patients. Recovery Unplugged was honored and grateful to be featured in the piece, and we look forward to illustrating the innumerable benefits of music in addiction care when and wherever possible and appropriate. As pioneers of music-based treatment, we welcome any and all opportunities to further discuss its successes, evolution and future.

One of the most important and pertinent aspects of the piece was the idea that music-based healing is for everyone, regardless of their musical background. Each person has their own special relationship with music, whether it’s simply enjoying or being moved by their favorite song, or writing and performing songs of their own. Music therapy is an ideal and clinically proven way to harness the healing powers of this art-form to break down emotional barriers and facilitate healing on a deep level, where simple conversation very often falls short. The article also discussed the critical importance of customized addiction treatment for every type of patient, whether they seek music-based care or any other type of modality.

More and more treatment facilities are utilizing deeper levels of music therapy as part of their rehab programs. Whether their patients are suffering from anxiety, depression or any other type of co-occurring mental health issue, music has proven to be an effective relief agent in many cases. The Recovery Unplugged team remains committed to the growth and innovation of the music-treatment paradigm, as we help more and more patients to heal in their own way through this amazing therapy.

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Causey and Effect: Talking with Songwriter Buddy Causey

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 9, 2017 10:33:52 PM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Music Therapy, Addiction, Treatment, Music Treatment

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If you’ve never heard of Tuscaloosa singer/songwriter Buddy Causey, take a closer look at the canon of southern rock music over the past few decades. If that doesn’t work, check this year’s Grammys. A veteran of the music business, Causey started recording at Alabama’s legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio when he was just 19 years old. He parlayed his passion and talent into a career that saw record deals on such labels as United Artists, Capitol, Roulette and Warner Bros. He also wrote thousands of jingles for companies like McDonald’s, Miller Beer and Betty Crocker. Along the way, however, the reflective and deeply spiritual Causey fought a decades-long battle with substance abuse and addiction: “I got involved with everything you shouldn’t be involved with, hand over fist.” His primary drugs of choice were pills and marijuana.

Fate intervened in 2007 when Causey suffered an “extremely unusual” stroke that left him reliant on a walker, temporary visually impaired and with nerve damage to one of his vocal cords: “That changed my life. I promised God that if he ever let me sing again, I wouldn’t be selfish and sing to sell a bunch of records; I’d sing for him.” For the past five years, and after making a full recovery, Causey has been better than his word, traveling his self-designated route, spreading his version of the gospel. Since his recovery, all accept for one song (which just happens to be a Grammy-nominated collaboration with fellow Muscle Shoals alumni Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham), has been about his newly reinvigorated relationship with God.

The stroke also prevented Causey from any further drug use. After struggling to sing for four years, he was contacted by members of Celebrate Recovery. After initial reluctance to embrace recovery, it was only a matter of time before Causey started listening to the message: “I thought ‘Hey I’m a miracle, man. I could sing. I don’t need any of this mess.’ I was a fool. I needed it more than anybody. After I went through the step-study, I realized I kept making the same mistakes over and over.” Causey counts letting his temper get the better of him and taking the easy way out whenever possible among these dominant, lifelong mistakes.

These days the 70-year-old Causey is more interested in spreading his musical message to those who he feels truly need to hear it: “All I do now is go to churches, Celebrate Recovery [events], halfway houses, jails and prisons.” While the compensation may not be what he was used to from his days of writing and performing full-time, it’s no longer about money for Causey: “I make way more than money by going.” Causey started his current mission in November of 2011, after taking four years to recover from his life-changing stroke, and has been relentless in its pursuit ever since.

Although he might be slowing down his performance schedule, Causey remains active in the studio. He recently recorded a Christian record entitled Well Done My Son, which features collaborations with members of Toto, and Michael McDonald’s band and was co-produced by Blue Miller, a regular collaborator with India Arie. Well Done My Son is a self-funded effort and was put out by Causey himself on his Brother Man Records label. Despite a superlative musical career and his inspiring work helping others, Causey admits to being the occasional prisoner of the past: “I used to say that I wasted so much of my life; but if I hadn’t done what I’d done, I couldn’t talk to these people. They wouldn’t believe me. People that I talk to are people just like me.” Causey might be in error, however, to believe that anyone is truly like him.

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Every Which Way: A Conversation with Montana Songwriter Neil “Filo” Beddow

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 21, 2016 5:20:56 PM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Music Therapy, Addiction, Alcoholism, Music

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When we enter a rehab facility, for any reason, we often do so with the singular mission of either admitting ourselves or a loved one to the facility, or asking questions about the quality of the program. In other words, we’re not often concerned with what music is playing through the speakers. After decades in the recovery community himself, Bozeman, Montana-based songwriter Neil “Filo” Beddow is very much concerned with the music to which patients are exposed during treatment. Recovery Unplugged recently caught up with Beddow to discuss his recovery, his music and how the two have affected each other from the start.

Beddow began the conversation by discussing his mission to change the soundtrack of addiction treatment, one facility at a time: “Most places, when you walk in, they have sort of canned music or the radio playing, or whatever, and I thought ‘Well, why not have some music that pertains to what you’re there for?’” A guitar-and-lyric man whose songs are as direct and targeted as they are catchy, Beddow has been trying to develop a recovery-focused songwriting collective and cut a record to distribute to drug and alcohol treatment providers. Though it’s been slow going, he remains hopeful the project will fully materialize and has an arsenal of relevant songs to feed it.

Although music was a big part of his life before, during and after the recovery process, Beddow had only started performing live at the age of 50, showcasing his original material, much of which he credits to his experiences during recovery: “The material I was writing was mostly about recovery and the people I had met. I think it was because I was cleaned up that I was able to put together the music that I have. It’s kept me on the planet.” While Beddow admits to using a wide variety of substances, including marijuana and speed, alcohol has proven to be the enduring menace in his life.

It was ultimately Beddow’s family that urged him to get help: “My wife told me one day that if I couldn’t do something about my drinking, I’d have to find another place to live; I was drunk the next night. My son, who was six at the time, overheard me talking to someone from AA about my drinking. I went to tuck him and he was crying and said ‘Daddy, I don’t want you to die.’ I started crying with him. He went to sleep and [again] I was drunk the next night.” It occurred to Beddow that if he couldn’t stop drinking for the two most important people in his life, that the journey to recovery would be a lot harder than he thought. He described the mental obsession and the moment when he first realized he had more of a problem than he initially realized.

Though he has recently suffered some setbacks with alcohol, Beddow had 20 years of consistent recovery prior to his slip last spring. He is once again aggressively working his recovery program; attending AA meetings, continuing his involvement in the local recovery community and using music more than ever to help him through the process. He is not the first to suffer a setback after an extended period of abstinence, nor will he be the last. “It’s a bitch, man,” says a candid Beddow of drug and alcohol addiction. “It’s cunning, baffling and powerful just like it’s laid out in the [Alcoholics Anonymous] book.”

Beddow’s songs are comprised of hard-hitting and introspective lyrics set primarily to acoustic chord progressions that are sometimes driving and authoritative, and sometimes light, airy and dynamic. He describes his guitar style as West Dakota Stutter. His prose is often tongue-and-cheek, but always manages to clearly convey his intended messages. While recovery is the dominant theme within his canon, he manages to include other message-driven pieces in there as well, including his nod to strong and influential female historical figures called “Benazir Bhutto”. He also covers a variety of artists that are a reflection of his musical tastes, including Ry Cooder, David Bromberg, Lucinda Williams, John Prine & Bob Dylan and a host of others.

After an exhaustive search for collaborators, Beddow has settled on releasing his latest record as a solo effort. He’s working on retooling and polishing up some of his current material, most of which is years old. He maintains an active live calendar and remains a fixture of the vibrant and bustling Bozeman arts community. For a while, he even served on the board of the local arts collective S.L.A.M. (Support Local Artists and Musicians). While he is no longer a board member, he still volunteers and performs at events. He plans on sticking around the Bozeman area to spread his message of recovery, unless other forces direct him elsewhere.

Regarding the impact of music on his recovery process, Beddow had the following to say: “Music has kept me on the planet. For me to come up with a song from beginning to end…I mean…they just fell out of the sky and landed in my lap. It’s amazing what you can come up with and its even more when you’re able to get someone to collaborate with you.” He closes by asserting that he didn’t write the songs, he made them up.

Beddow promised to let RU know when his record was finished.

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The Accidental Journey of Philly Songwriter Trip Boyd

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 16, 2016 2:18:53 PM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Music Therapy, Addiction, Music, Music Treatment

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Although his matter-of-fact and casual demeanor may not show it, Philly-based songwriter James “Trip” Boyd is a man who has led many lives, through which the common threads have been music and substance abuse. Now, exceedingly content in this latest stage of life, and with years of sobriety under his belt, Boyd was good enough to sit down with Recovery Unplugged to discuss his tumultuous past, comfortable present and hopeful future. For all of its uniqueness and its many twists, turns and layers, Boyd’s story is one that could really happen to anyone, and that’s exactly how he tells it.

Boyd starts our conversation by discussing the accidental nature of the origins of his substance abuse which occurred, oddly enough, after quitting his high school basketball team: “My plan in life was to play on the basketball team and become popular, date a cheerleader and then go on to play in college. Then when I realized I was just barely going to make the team, that wasn’t good enough and I just up and quit. Literally a week later someone calls up and says ‘Hey you want to do hit of acid?’ and I just went from one extreme to the other. From that point on, the rest of high school was just a party.”

Boyd came to alcohol only after experimenting with other drugs, and confessed that he was an “equal-opportunity drug user”. After a few years of heavy partying and an ill-fated marriage, he found music as accidentally as he found drugs in high school: “Evidently I mentioned one night that a friend’s band could practice at my house and the next thing I knew they were all showing up. I ended up hanging out with these guys and booking gigs for them, moving equipment and running lights. Soon I started picking up instruments here and there.” Before this, Boyd’s only acquaintance with musical performance was a brief flirtation with bass when he was a teenager.

Eventually Boyd’s musical wanderlust moved him all over the southeastern United States, playing in bands in DC, North Carolina and Florida. This is when his substance abuse began to re-escalate, and he started with alcohol, marijuana and cocaine: “I was always around it. It was normal for me to smoke weed first thing in the morning. It was normal for me to drink.” Like so many others who experienced nightlife in the 1980s, Boyd also indulged in heavy cocaine. Eventually this lifestyle would take its toll on him and the seams of substance abuse began to show.    

The chaos in Boyd’s life reached its pinnacle in the late 1980’s when he found himself living in Florida: “I was literally living Murphy’s Law. It was just unbelievable everything that went wrong in my life. I was really starting to become depressed. I was getting up and, first thing in the morning, going to the store and buying a six-pack and just getting drunk. It was just one of the darkest periods in my life.” Things took a more positive turn when an old friend reached out to Boyd and convinced him to relocate to Philadelphia, where he’s been ever since.

At this point, Boyd had just gotten into writing songs. After years of playing in cover bands, he decided it was time to lend his own literal and figurative voice to the vast American musical canon: “I wanted to do something original, but I just didn’t know how to do it. I was always just a member of a band. Finally when I moved up here, I said ‘Enough, I’m tired of playing in bands that were breaking up all the time.’ I wanted to do my stuff and be in charge.” Boyd’s declaration of musical independence led to the formation of a solo project called Trip Boyd, which included collaboration, on his terms, with other likeminded musicians. He became a fixture of the Philadelphia music scene , attending conferences and networking as hard as any local musician. He also became better acquainted with the recording process, a passion that has endured to this day.

As in other phases of Boyd’s life, however, substance abuse once again became a dominant presence. “I just never really succeeded on the level that I wanted to and I guess I just got frustrated and depressed.” This led to the resurgence of heavy drinking and cocaine abuse. “It was always someone else’s idea, but one thing about addiction is that you start crossing lines. Eventually I became the guy to say ‘Why don’t we get a little something?’” The lines kept getting crossed and eventually Boyd found himself working in a recording studio where drinking and drug abuse were commonplace. Boyd’s substance abuse continued to escalate and in the last few years prior to his recovery, crack became a regular drug of choice, although he says he never smoked it two days in a row. He describes his crack use as an irregular cycle in which he would use the drug in weekly or biweekly intervals.

In 1999, Boyd received a DUI along with a court-order to attend AA meetings. This is where things finally started to turn around. Like many who are compelled to attend recovery meetings, Boyd initially went only to satisfy the requirements of his court-order, but eventually started becoming more involved. Although he was still using crack, he describes one night that could be viewed as a turning point in his perception: “One night I’m home smoking crack and it’s like four in the morning. I had to be at work in four hours and I knew that the next 48 hours were going to be a living hell. There is no worse feeling than crashing from crack cocaine. All of a sudden I got this thought: ‘Hey you know these meetings you’re going to? Maybe you should try them.’ I got this feeling of peace. That is the one and only time that ever happened when I was crashing from crack.”

After a period of setbacks, Boyd finally found his footing. He describes the morning after the “white-knuckle night” when he finally resisted the urge to go back to crack: “It wasn’t ‘I gotta stop doing this.’ It was ‘I’m done’. I felt relaxed and calm and I’ve ben sober ever since.” He started increasing his attendance at meetings and strengthened his confidence in recovery, going through the steps, working his program and learning many lessons along the way. He even established a recovery-themed softball league. He was still playing in bands, but he had sold all of his equipment during the first few months of his recovery. “I was at a point in my life where it was time to do something different.” Boyd soon found himself back in college and traveling. He would not touch a musical instrument again for another eight years.

Yet another coincidence put Boyd music in Boyd’s path again. “I totally relapsed on music and found myself playing with Garage Band [the recording software]. Eventually I stared writing songs again.” Boyd reconnected with this old drummer, with whom he formed The Beavers, and started playing live again. They hope to be ready by spring to showcase new material and covers to their audience. Through deeper immersion in the 12-Step process, Boyd started taking behavioral health classes and closely examining the traditional tenets of AA. He continues to strengthen his knowledge of the process each day.

Much like his current musical projects, Boyd’s recovery is in constant forward motion. His story is a reminder of the fluidity of life and that, as much as we may walk away from music for an extended period of time, it will always be there to comfort and inspire us when we get back. Regarding the role that music has played in his ongoing recovery, Boyd had the following to say: “It’s been very fulfilling. I just get lost in it. I just love every aspect of it. Music is just what I do. I breathe, I eat, I record music.”

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Sing Your Life: The Positive Impact of Singing on the Brain

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 21, 2016 8:07:00 AM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Music Therapy, Singing, Rehab

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Ever notice how we often sing when we’re excited, exuberant or motivated? This is not a coincidence. Nor is it a coincidence that over 30 million adults in America are in choirs. Whether we’re in the car, performing live, singing with our friends, cleaning our houses or in any other environment, singing just makes us feel better. This is one of the reasons why, regardless of whether or not we’ve ever picked up an instrument, we can all benefit from music therapy. Group-singing, in particular has been said to elicit feelings of camaraderie, jubilation and fulfillment. The reasons for this are many and varied.

For one thing, singing releases oxytocin, a neuropeptide that is said to elicit positive emotions, mediate social behavior and regulate stress and anxiety. This is why karaoke is one of the most common group activities. When we sing with others, it helps us to “break the ice” and connect with people on a deeper level that the social barriers of normal verbal communication often prevent. Singing also releases endorphins, which are hormones commonly associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Endorphins are also released during other pleasurable activities like working out, eating and sex. These benefits can be reaped from singing, regardless of whether or not we consider ourselves “good singers”. We should never be afraid or self-conscious to sing.

Whether or not we’re in recovery, singing can breathe new life into our routines and significantly improve our overall mental health. We don’t have to start performing at clubs, writing our own songs or even join a choir to start integrating singing into our lives. For many, the process simply begins and ends with memorizing the lyrics to their favorite songs and singing along as often as they can. We might be surprised at just how much better we feel when we let loose and belt out some of our favorite tunes. The next time you’re feeling anxious, depressed or vulnerable, just start singing.

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The Importance of Specialized Therapies in Addiction Treatment

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 19, 2016 2:14:06 PM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Music Therapy, Addiction, Treatment, Rehab

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RU-texas-whitepaper1-shadow.jpgRecovery Unplugged recently published a FREE white paper on the positive impact of music in addiction treatment, and its power to heal those suffering from deep-rooted emotional trauma. We are exceedingly proud of our own Dr. David Kramer for his authorship of this document and look forward to being an integral part of the ongoing conversation conversation regarding more progressive and specialized therapies in addiction care. The days of cookie-cutter treatment are over. Addiction is an unpredictable disease that impacts many, if not all, aspects of sufferers’ lives. Patients in treatment will benefit best from a program that is equipped and inclined to offer the most targeted treatment possible. A fundamental element of this approach is the inclusion of innovative supplemental treatment therapies.

One of the fundamental realities of addiction is that no two cases are exactly the same. Each individual develops and maintains a substance abuse issue based on their own unique set of lifestyle and mental health circumstances. While there may be broad and abstract contributing factors that give birth to substance abuse and allow it to continue (trauma, mental illness, family history, etc.), each sufferer experiences their own painful journey within these paradigms. Despite the unique nature of the disease of addiction from patient to patient, there has, for a long time, been a singular and largely uniform way of treating the problem in a clinical setting that isn’t always able to take into account patients’ specific care needs.

Just as no two cases of substance abuse are identical, neither should the programs through which they’re treated. Each patient should have the benefit of a targeted and individualized care program that addresses their care needs, not only through talk therapy and traditional 12-step counseling; but also through a series of supplemental therapies, the benefits of which speak to the heart of the patients’ deep-rooted emotional issues. As the addiction treatment landscape becomes more and more complex, and new substance abuse threats are emerging at seemingly rapid intervals, an increasing amount of therapies are being developed based on their promising results within select patient populations.

Modalities like music therapy, equine-assisted therapy, art therapy and creative journaling have all proven to be effective in helping patients access their internal voice, overcome their anxiety, relate to others and increase their personal strength and confidence. These techniques empower patients, often on a primal level, and pick up where traditional talk therapy often falls short. While they are not meant to replace proven treatment techniques like group therapy and one-on-one counseling, they have proven extremely effective when incorporated into a larger overall care program.


Read the latest Recovery Unplugged White Paper HERE. 

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Taking It with You: Embracing Music in Everyday Recovery

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 18, 2016 2:02:31 PM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Music Therapy, Substance Abuse, Addicion, Rehab

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At Recovery Unplugged, we commonly hear concerns from prospective patients about their lack of musical experience prior to treatment. They’re concerned that they have to have an overtly musical background as a pre-requisite to taking advantage of our program. The truth is that everybody can benefit from music therapy, regardless of whether or not they’ve ever picked up an instrument, written a lyric or even attended a concert. If they have a favorite song, or simply a song of which they’re particularly fond, they can experience the healing power of this modality. Invariably, they wind up understanding the universal nature of music-based therapy, and many even wind up integrating music into their everyday recovery well after they leave our program.

Whether it’s continuing to take lessons on a specific instrument, writing, recording and performing our own music and lyrics, or just being more mindful of how our favorite songs make us feel, patients’ appreciation for and connection to music doesn’t have to end once they complete their treatment. Recovery Unplugged strives to open this world up to everyone, and we encourage our patients to live with music whenever they can. It’s a healing resource that transcends traditional talk therapy and verbal expression; and that’s something from which each and every one of us could benefit, regardless of whether or not we’re in recovery.

People have been utilizing music to heal for thousands of years, and there’s an incredibly viable reason for that: it works. None of us should get caught up in whether or not we “belong” in a music therapy program, because each and every one of us has a place within this healing paradigm. We would like to remind all everyone, including past, present and future patients to live with music in their lives whenever possible, as actively or passively as they wish. Keep singing, playing and writing. 

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Rock 4 Recovery Group Healing Wounded Veterans through Music

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 13, 2016 4:45:45 PM / by RU Texas posted in Music Therapy, Addiction, PTSD, Trauma, Rehab

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Recovery Unplugged is always gratified and inspired to see another organization working to heal vulnerable populations through the power of music, and that’s exactly what Army Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Paul De La Cerda has been up to. His group, Rock 4 Recovery, is a Houston-based organization that uses music therapy to help veterans who have been wounded in combat. In a recent interview with the Houston Press, De La Cerda describes his impetus to start Rock 4 Recovery, relaying a story of how in 2005, an IED exploded near his vehicle leaving him with traumatic brain injury. The physical injuries caused subsequent memory loss, depression and PTSD.

A lifelong drummer, De La Cerda had to reteach himself how to play after he sustained his injuries. In the course of getting reacquainted with the kit, he discovered a profound catharsis and therapy that he has used to help many others. He soon found himself in a band with other veterans and eventually established space where fellow veterans can come, play music and start healing from the trauma associated with the rigors of their service. Eventually he got bigger names involved and has generated an enormous amount of support in the form of everything from free concert tickets to wounded veterans to VIP experiences. The organization has been a welcome supplemental therapy for vets healing from both external and internal wounds.

 Though lack of funding has caused Rock 4 Recovery to scale back on many of its initiatives, De La Cerda remains committed to helping veterans through the power of music. He has several events and live performances planned in order raise awareness of the plight of wounded vets while providing some much needed entertainment, and respite from the rigors of the recovery process. His efforts are a refreshing resource to an historically at-risk population.

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Utah Musician Creates Musical Score for 12-Step Process

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 12, 2016 10:18:45 AM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Music Therapy, Addiction

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It can hardly be denied that the 12-Step Process is full of emotion. Throughout this journey, we experience a full range of feelings, from hope to triumph to disappointment to desperation and everything in between. Some of us are able to go through it in one fluid motion; some of us stumble and have to find our way back to the path of recovery however we can. Although the emotion and drama associated with the 12-step process can very much feel like we’re going through our own epic film, nobody has ever thought to write a musical score to it…until now.

Brendon David Nielson is a songwriter, producer and pianist from Orem, Utah whose most recent endeavor involves writing a musical score for the 12-step recovery process. Aptly titled “The Soundtrack to Addiction Recovery”, the 12-song record features mostly instrumental music and runs the emotional gamut, conveying feeling where words fail. In a recent interview with the Daily Herald, Nielson, who lost is mother to suicide stemming from mental illness and prescription addiction in 2005, discloses the deeply personal nature of the material, stating that every note and, stanza and movement has symbolic meaning. When his mother died, he seriously questioned whether recovery was even possible.

In addition to providing an engaging, sweeping and entirely appropriate musical landscape to accompany the 12-Step Process, “The Soundtrack to Recovery” reminds us all that our past doesn’t have to determine our future. The first track is entitled Honesty and is available on Nielson's Kickstarter campaign. The second song is entitled Help and focuses on the presence and belief in a higher power. Brendon’s mission to help heal addiction through music is gaining widespread recognition and support from backers all over the country. While he’s been offered multiple recording deals, he wishes to maintain full ownership and control of the creative process as he continues this intensely personal quest. 

Pre-Order "The Soundtrack to Recovery" now. 

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New Jersey Program Uses Music to Connect with Elders with Dementia

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 4, 2016 12:16:42 PM / by RU Texas posted in Recovery, Music Therapy, Addiction, Elder, Rehab

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In yet another illustration of the strong and natural relationship between music and the brain’s function, a New Jersey music school is working with elderly residents who have been stricken with dementia to offer a new therapy program. Asbury Park’s Lakehouse Music Academy launched the program in partnership with the Alive Inside Foundation last spring and has seen promising results since its start.

The impetus for the programs establishment came largely from “Alive Inside”, a film that conveys the close and established relationship between music and the human brain. A Lakehouse instructor had seen the film and began the journey of integrating music into her grandmother’s therapy. Shortly after she showed the film to her students, they began collaborating with the Alive Inside Foundation on the pilot program. They set about learning older standards to perform for elderly patients at nursing homes, eldercare facilities, hospitals and other locations. The Alive Inside Foundation hopes to eventually spread the initiative throughout the country.

The program has led to marked changes in participants’ quality of life, including one previously non-verbal patient who began talking and singing after hearing familiar music and connecting with it on a deep and familiar level. It further reinforces music’s ability to transcend verbal communication and reach patients in a way that traditional talk therapy might not be able to. This has been clearly illustrated in various types of mental illness, including depression and substance abuse. Programs like this bring further attention to the tangible and demonstrable healing benefits of music and all that can be gained from simply listening to one’s favorite songs.

To bring further awareness to the relationship between music and healing, the Alive Inside Foundation will be hosting a fundraiser at Asbury Park’s House of Independents on October 20 that will include a screening of the film and a Q and A session with it’s creator, Michael Rossato-Bennett.

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