Sound therapy

Imagine the soothing sound of ocean waves gently crashing against the shore, or the comforting rhythm of raindrops on a windowpane. Our brains have a remarkable ability to respond to and interpret sound, helping us to keep calm and reflect. At Banbury Lodge, we harness the incredible power of sound to help you overcome drug and alcohol addiction through sound therapy. This innovative and evidence-based therapy is an important part of our rehab treatment and can help you make lasting progress on your recovery journey.

Sound therapy

What is sound therapy?

Sound therapy, sometimes known as sound healing or vibrational therapy, uses the power of sound to restore balance and promote healing within the body and mind. It is a non-invasive treatment that employs various techniques to create sounds and vibrations which can have a profound effect on your emotional, mental and physical well-being.

Sound therapy is a very effective type of addiction therapy because substance abuse and addictive behaviours can cause a web of deep and complex damage which sound therapy can begin to untangle.

The seven Rs

The British Academy of Sound Therapy uses The Cooper Sax Model, a therapeutic framework that utilises seven stages of experiential processing to facilitate change and healing. The seven stages, or the seven Rs, are:

  • Recognition: Identifying emotions, thoughts, and experiences that need attention
  • Release: Letting go of unwanted feelings, beliefs, and patterns
  • Rebalancing: Restoring a sense of harmony and equilibrium
  • Receiving: Embracing new insights, perspectives, and opportunities
  • Reflection: Examining the changes and growth that have occurred
  • Reintegration: Incorporating new insights into daily life and relationships
  • Renewal: Celebrating progress and embracing a healthier, more balanced self

Sound therapy plays an essential role in guiding individuals through these stages, allowing them to recognise, release, and embrace change.

What are the different types of sound therapy?

Some common types of sound therapy include:

  • Gong bath therapy: Also known as gong bath meditation, this immersive sound experience involves the use of gongs to produce powerful vibrations and rich harmonics that envelop the listener. Gong bath therapy promotes deep relaxation, stress reduction and a sense of rejuvenation all of which are crucial for managing cravings and difficult moments in recovery.
  • Music therapy: This versatile form of sound therapy employs various musical activities, such as composing, improvising and listening, to facilitate emotional expression, enhance self-awareness and improve cognitive functioning. These benefits can help you take control of your emotions and emotional reactions which can help prevent impulsive behaviour which is synonymous with addiction.
  • Sound bowl therapy: Utilising singing bowls, often made of metal or crystal, sound bowl therapy creates soothing tones and vibrations that resonate with the body, inducing a meditative state, balancing energy and fostering overall well-being. This can help give you the strength and sense of calm needed for a successful recovery.

Sound therapy - gong bath therapy

How are the sounds produced during sound therapy?

There are various ways that sounds are produced during sound therapy but some of the most common instruments include:

Tonal instruments

Tonal instruments such as singing bowls, tuning forks and the gongs used in gong bath meditation produce specific frequencies and harmonics that resonate with the body’s natural rhythms. When played, these instruments can create an immersive soundscape that promotes relaxation and a sense of harmony.

Rhythmic instruments

Rhythmic instruments such as drums, shakers and tambourines help to regulate the body’s internal rhythms and encourage a sense of grounding. The repetitive beats can induce a meditative state enabling you to focus inward and explore the emotions associated with or caused by your addiction.


The human voice is a powerful instrument in sound therapy. Chanting, humming, and singing can stimulate the production of endorphins, reduce stress and create a sense of unity and belonging. This can help you feel connected to other participants and reduce the feelings of isolation which addiction often causes.

What are the benefits of sound therapy in addiction treatment?

Sound therapy offers a unique approach to addiction recovery, providing numerous benefits that aid in the healing process. These include:

Deep relaxation
Sound therapy helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a sense of calm and reducing stress, which is crucial for addiction recovery.
Emotional release
The immersive soundscapes created during sound therapy sessions allow you to safely explore and process your emotions around addiction and its underlying causes, fostering emotional release and catharsis.
Improved focus and concentration
The meditative states induced by sound therapy can help to sharpen mental clarity and focus, essential skills for maintaining long-term sobriety.
Enhanced self-awareness
By encouraging introspection, sound therapy can help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your addiction, paving the way for lasting change.

What does a typical sound therapy session involve?

At Banbury Lodge, we offer weekly 2-hour sound therapy sessions led by our external sound therapist. These sessions begin with a guided meditation accompanied by the soothing sounds of gongs, helping participants to relax and connect with their inner selves. Following the meditation, there is an opportunity to reflect on the experience and discuss any insights or emotions that have arisen during the session.

Why does sound therapy work?

There are various schools of thought regarding the effectiveness of sound therapy. Some potential explanations include:

  • Resonance: The human body contains numerous systems that resonate at specific frequencies. Sound therapy can help to align and harmonise these frequencies, promoting overall well-being.
  • Entrainment: The brain has the ability to synchronise its brainwave frequencies with external sounds, enabling it to shift into more relaxed or focused states.
  • Emotional regulation: Sound therapy can help to regulate the emotional and physiological responses to stress, supporting individuals in recovery as they navigate the challenges of addiction.

How does sound therapy work in conjunction with other addiction therapies?

Sound therapy can be a valuable complement to other addiction treatment modalities, such as:

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)

Sound therapy can help to create a relaxed and focused mental state, which can enhance the effectiveness of CBT sessions. By promoting emotional regulation, sound therapy can also support individuals in implementing the cognitive and behavioural strategies learned in CBT.

Group therapy

The communal aspect of sound therapy can foster a sense of unity and belonging among participants, enhancing the supportive atmosphere of group therapy sessions. The emotional release facilitated by sound therapy can also encourage open and honest communication within the group.

Mindfulness-based practices

Sound therapy and mindfulness share similar goals of promoting self-awareness, relaxation and emotional balance. The meditative states induced by sound therapy can serve as a gateway to deeper mindfulness practice, helping individuals in recovery to cultivate resilience and self-compassion.

Sound therapy - group therapy

How to start sound therapy

Are you ready to explore the healing power of sound therapy in your addiction recovery journey? Contact Banbury Lodge to learn more about how our sound therapy sessions and comprehensive addiction treatment programmes can help you take the first step towards a healthier, more balanced future. Embrace the transformative power of sound therapy and reclaim your life from addiction.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to be spiritual to benefit from sound therapy?
No, you do not need to be spiritual or have any particular belief system to benefit from sound therapy. While some people may find that sound therapy resonates with their spiritual beliefs, its benefits, such as relaxation, stress reduction and emotional healing, are universal and can be experienced by anyone, regardless of their spiritual background or beliefs.
Is sound therapy safe for everyone?
Yes, sound therapy is generally considered safe for most individuals, as it is a non-invasive and gentle treatment method. However, it may not be suitable for those with specific medical conditions, such as epilepsy or severe sound sensitivities. If you have concerns about whether sound therapy is appropriate for you, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before participating in a session.
How soon can I expect to see benefits from sound therapy?
The benefits of sound therapy can vary depending on the individual and the specific issues being addressed. Some people may notice improvements in relaxation, mood, or stress levels after just a few sessions, while others might require several weeks to experience significant changes. Consistency and an open mind are key to maximising the potential benefits of sound therapy.
Can I do sound therapy if I am already undergoing a different type of therapy?
Yes, you can do sound therapy alongside other types of therapy. Integrating sound therapy with traditional therapeutic approaches can enhance overall treatment outcomes. It is important to inform all your healthcare providers about the therapies you are participating in to ensure a coordinated and holistic approach to your treatment.
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Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0203 553 3757