Music Therapy can help with...
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$150, 75-90 minutes
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Single, Add-On or Bi-Weekly Sessions
$125, 45-50 minutes
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What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional (MT-BC)
What do music therapists do?
Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.
("What is Music Therapy?", https://www.musictherapy.org/about/musictherapy/, 2018)
How does Music Therapy help with medical or mental health needs?
Music therapy is an efficacious and valid treatment for persons who have psychosocial, affective, cognitive, communicative, medical and rehabilitation needs. Research results and clinical experiences attest to the viability of music therapy even in those who are resistive to other treatment approaches. Music is a form of sensory stimulation that provokes responses due to the familiarity, predictability and feelings of security associated with it. Music therapy can use musical interaction as a means of communication and expression. (AMTA 2006, musictherapy.org)
What happens behind the scenes?
While the client is involved in a music therapy session, the Music Therapist is actively assessing and evaluating their physical, behavioral and emotional response, and adapting the activities and interventions in order to optimize the experience towards achieving the treatment goals.
Overview of Music Therapy process
Step 1. Informational Interview or Consultation
Step 2. Intake Process
Review therapy process & expectations, tech access, scheduling, informed consent, complete intake paperwork
Step 3. Assessment
Step 4. Goals & Treatment Plan Development
Step 5. Engage in regular Music Therapy sessions
Step 6. Ongoing Evaluation
Step 7. Termination / Transition out of services
Music Therapy sessions may include...
Who can benefit from music therapy?
Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly with mental health needs, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other aging related conditions, substance abuse problems, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.
Potential risks in music therapy...
Music Therapy is generally a low-risk experience. Negative side effects are rare but may occur. Engaging in Music Therapy may invoke overstimulation, confusion or a negative emotional response. Music may call up repressed emotions. Music may affect body pressure, body temperature and breathing rates. To protect the public from threats of harm in clinical practice, music therapists comply with safety standards and competencies such as, but not limited to:
- Recognize and respond to situations in which there are clear and present dangers to a client and/or others.
- Recognize the potential harm of music experiences and use them with care.
- Recognize the potential harm of verbal and physical interventions during music experiences and use them with care.
- Observe infection control protocols (e.g., universal precautions, disinfecting instruments).
- Recognize the client populations and health conditions for which music experiences are contraindicated.
- Comply with safety protocols with regard to transport and physical support of clients.
Music Therapy Techniques
(a brief and informal explanation)
Generally speaking, we can consider music therapy interventions within four technique categories; song recreation, music listening, improvisation and songwriting/composition. There is often overlap between these techniques, but it's a good starting point! We'll use the song "Over the Rainbow" as an example.
Song recreation is when the music therapist (MTBC) and patient are involved in live music-making and re-creating a pre-existing song, ie singing and playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on the ukulele. This is a common technique I use at in my medical music therapy practice, given that I usually see patients only once in an acute setting. Songs can be chosen by the patients based on preference, or by the MTBC based on music elements (tempo, dynamics, lyric content, etc) with purposes such as energizing, motivating, distracting, relaxing, uplifting, validating, etc.
Music listening might look like the MTBC singing/playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" or listening to the Judy Garland recording on a bluetooth speaker. This can be used in a passive way for emotional regulation, relaxation, etc - or within an active framework, perhaps using lyric analysis to inspire a discussion.
Improvisation = extemporaneous, spontantous creation of music. This is often where I'll use drums/percussion, so patients without music experience can engage fully in music making. Sometimes this is to encourage community /rapport building, or to experience connecting and communicating in a non-verbal way, or even to practice the anxiety response in a safe/structured setting. We might listen to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and then I'd ask the patient to improvise on the drums, what does 'hope' sound like to you?
Songwriting and composition is the intentional, planned creation of music. A patient could re-write the lyrics to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to be about their own dream-like place. Or we could make up our own song from srcatch to be their own hopeful theme song. Songwriting can turn a pre-existing song into something more personalized, or can be a composition where the patient voices their internal experience or explores a topic of interest. This can be a very meaningful experience for a patient who is processing complex emotions or a difficult experience.
Forbes Health: "What Is Music Therapy? Types, Benefits And More"
Selection from Forbes Health Website
"What Is Music Therapy?
There are lots of fancy explanations for music therapy, but it essentially means we’re therapists who use music as our tool to tap into its effects on our physiology and our associations, memories and feelings,” says board-certified music therapist Carol L. Shultis, Ph.D., associate professor and director of music therapy at Converse University in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and co-author of The Clinical Training Guide for the Student Music Therapist.
The first professional organization of music therapists, the National Association of Music Therapy, was established in 1950, not long after doctors in veterans hospitals had seen music therapy spark improvements in the physical and emotional health of soldiers recovering after World War I and World War II. The National Association of Music Therapy merged with the American Association for Music Therapy in 1998 to form the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). The AMTA defines music therapy as the evidence-based practice of using music-related interventions to achieve therapeutic goals.
Described in more detail, music therapy is an experiential form of therapy during which a person goes through assessment, treatment and evaluation by engaging in different types of music experiences, music therapist Kenneth E. Bruscia writes in his book Defining Music Therapy. These music experiences might include listening to music, writing music or playing instruments.
People of all ages can benefit from music therapy and no musical training or talent is necessary, says Shultis. In fact, she adds, trained musicians sometimes have difficulty engaging freely in therapeutic music activities that might diverge from their training."