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Creative Innovations in Mental Health & Addictions: Part 1 of A Music Therapist’s Guide to the 12 Steps in Practice




(Part 2 is available for individual purchase, as well, in addition to the full version – Parts 1 & 2)

By Nicole Edwards, MT-BC, MA, RYT-500

This e-book lays the foundation for music therapists whose mission is to aid in the healing process of those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. It is also intended as a guide for any individuals who strive for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This e-book provides you with tools that will not only strengthen your library of significant song repertoire, but will also provide ways to process songs, elicit responses, and connect group members through meaningful experiences.

This e-book is divided into two parts, each sold separately.

Part one includes steps one through six of the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous (can also be applied to those with an alcohol addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous).

Part two includes steps seven through twelve. Each step contains three experiences using music as your medium. Each experience provides a framework for helping clients to witness, embody, and apply the spiritual principle(s) that pertain to a specific step of recovery. Although these were originally designed for group therapy, they may be adapted for various populations and individual therapy as well.

Creative Innovations was designed to provide the following: A description of each step from Narcotics Anonymous, session plans to meet goal areas, music suggestions, lyric substitution/songwriting sheets with chords, mindfulness meditations, processing questions, possible answers for processing each experience, and subsequent journal sheets for self-reflection.

Each of these sheets and meditations pertain to each step:


Step 1: Honesty

Step 2: Hope

Step 3: Faith

Step 4: Courage

Step 5: Integrity

Step 6: Willingness


Step 7: Humility

Step 8: Forgiveness

Step 9: Brotherly Love

Step 10: Perseverance

Step 11: Awareness

Step 12: Gratitude

Benefits of implementing this collection:

• INCREASE YOUR KNOWLEDGE in the utilization and facilitation of specific music therapy interventions that will inspire hope in those who struggle with addiction and mental health issues.

• INSPIRE NEW, INNOVATIVE IDEAS for use in therapy

• IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS as a music therapist by tapping into your creative process

• REFUEL YOURSELF with creative ideas to refrain from burnout and overload

• IMPROVE YOUR REPERTOIRE of songs that will spark creative ideas

• EXPAND AND OPEN MINDS of all participants

• CUT DOWN ON TIME spent on session plans, improving overall quality of sessions

The songs contained within are ones both I and my clients have identified as helpful to the process and as such, are meant as a starting point.  Each clinician may use them as they pertain to the group, utilizing clinical judgment, and in no specific order.  My hope is that you will take these and make them fully your own, exploring and adapting them to your clientele.

Nicole is a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-500). From 2010-2014, she established the Music Therapy Program at Catholic Hospice Inc. as well as their bereavement camp for children grieving the loss of a loved one. Since then, she has worked with clients in substance abuse rehabilitation, Oncology patients at the Cleveland Clinic, Florida, highly stressed individuals in corporate settings, and children with special needs.          

Presently, she is music therapist at The Cove Center for Recovery in South Florida, conducting both group and individual sessions. She also provides contractual work through her privately owned business, Serenity Therapeutics, LLC, a full service wellness arts studio serving Hallandale Beach, Florida and surrounding areas. Her mission is to provide sacred space for exploratory healing through the creative arts immersion. Within this platform, individuals are awakened to their fullest potential and equipped with the tools to live a life they love. Her program allows one to resource themselves with serenity, empowerment, and transformation through music assisted visualization and art, vocal and instrumental exploration, authentic movement, yoga, and creative writing. She also offers music therapy consultations and supervision for anyone who may have a more in-depth question or who is looking for additional support.


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