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Music therapy and its benefits

Music therapy is a therapeutic approach that uses music to help promote health and well-being. It covers a range of musical activities such as making music, singing, dancing, listening to music, or talking about music. It is an alternative approach that is part of a larger treatment plan.

Music Therapy is defined by the American Music Therapy Association as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship.” It uses music to treat physical, psychological, cognitive and social needs. It can also improve communication in that people undergoing music therapy can create their own musical language in order to express themselves.

The different kinds of music therapy are: 

Analytical music therapy:

This is a relational model that uses music to examine relationships between music and the self and others. This form of psychotherapy is rooted in analytic traditions and encourages the patient to explore himself/herself through music.

Benenzon music therapy:

This is a type of nonverbal psychotherapy. It uses body-sound-non-verbal techniques to examine the relationship between the therapist and patient to foster the client’s well-being.

Cognitive-behavioral music therapy:

This combines music and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and helps patients understand the concepts of CBT with the aid of music, which is regarded as a nonverbal facilitation tool.

Nordoff-Robbins music therapy:

This approach advocates that all of us in general have a sensitivity to music, an advantage that can be used to nurture personal growth and development.

The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM):

This form of transformational psychotherapy uses selected sections from classical music to encourage and support experiences that are processed by the patient through the technique of guided imagery.

Music therapy has many benefits. It fosters a sense of wellness and helps patients handle stress. It reduces the feeling of pain and helps patients express themselves better. It improves communication and memory and helps with physical rehabilitation.

Music therapy is used as supplementary therapy to help treat illnesses and conditions such as:

  • Acquired brain injury
  • Addition or Substance Abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Depression 
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Recovery from surgery

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