Partnership with University of Louisville brings music therapy program to Freedom House

Holly Hankin (left) and Adrienne Steiner provide music therapy to the women of Freedom House on Fridays.

University of Louisville Music Therapy Intern Holly Hankin and Adrienne Steiner MM, MT-BC, Clinical Coordinator of the Music Therapy Clinic at University of Louisville, provide music therapy to the women of Freedom House on Fridays.

Thanks to a new partnership between Volunteers of America Mid-States and the University of Louisville Music Therapy program, the women at Freedom House, our comprehensive, residential addiction recovery program for pregnant and parenting mothers, are now able to experience the healing power of music as part of their treatment.

Every Friday, Adrienne and Holly use music to engage Freedom House residents in healing and expressing themselves. An evidence-based treatment, music therapy teaches the women positive coping mechanisms and helps them to increase their personal insight and recognition of past behaviors.

While Adrienne has worked with a variety of clients, serving many different populations with mental illness and substance abuse, she has found working with the women at Freedom House particularly enjoyable because the group is very open and receptive to music therapy. Adrienne also noted that all the women in the Freedom House music therapy group struggle with similar issues and are noticeably bonded by their goal of sobriety, making the treatment more constructive and effective.

An addiction recovery program solely for women is unique, especially one dedicated to pregnant and parenting mothers. Adrienne noted that little research has been conducted in regards to the effects of music therapy on prenatal and postpartum women. "The literature shows that the reason why women abuse substances is different than that of men," Adrienne said. "I think that's one of the primary things to recognize: we have something different to address here."

While providing music therapy to pregnant women may be largely uncharted territory for her, Adrienne is excited for the challenge of bringing the best known practices and its positive benefits to the women at Freedom House.