Drum Therapy for Troubled Youth

Drum therapy enlivens treatment for troubled youth
By Dean Narciso The Columbus Dispatch
Wednesday September 17, 2014 6:45 AM

drum_therapy copySomething changes when the drums are set in front of the teenagers, each of whom is struggling with drugs or alcohol or depression and with simply growing up.

Whatever it is, the instruments infuse energy and humor into what often can be uncomfortable, court-ordered therapy sessions.

The Central Ohio Symphony is the improbable accompanist for Maryhaven’s Delaware drug-treatment branch office and Delaware County Juvenile Court.

The idea was sparked by Warren W. Hyer, the symphony’s executive director and principal percussionist.

The kids are here because drugs, alcohol or mental-health issues landed them in treatment court.

We re trying to get these kids to recognize feelings… instead of reaching for marijuana or heroin or alcohol, said Lynne Schoenling, a juvenile-court magistrate.

As kids move through the two-year program, they attend fewer sessions. If they do well, their records are expunged and lives reshaped with jobs, family reunions and new purpose.

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