A Music Therapy Strategy For Depressed Older Adults in the Community
Music therapy has been found to be an effective therapeutic strategy in relieving symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Additionally, it helps people manage difficult emotions, recall memories and boost self-worth.
When selecting a music therapist, make sure they possess both an advanced degree and are licensed to practice. They must complete an extensive educational process and maintain their credential through continuing education.
Your initial appointment with your music therapist will start with an assessment, which may include questions about your history and current difficulties. Your music therapist then discusses goals and creates a treatment plan, which includes session frequency as well as whether individual or group music therapy sessions will take place.
Listening to music is an integral part of the therapy process, as it has positive emotional effects on the brain that stimulate dopamine production and reduce muscle tension. It may also boost motivation and self-worth by activating your nucleus accumbens – the part of the brain responsible for pleasure – by increasing activity within it.
Many therapists will play recorded music to their clients, which can be an effective way to keep them engaged during the session and foster a sense of belonging within the group. They may also incorporate visual imagery with the music, such as slideshows on tablets or projectors.
Music therapy can be an invaluable asset for those suffering from depression or other mental health issues. Not only does it allow them to express themselves creatively, but it also gives them a sense of accomplishment which in turn boosts their self-esteem.
Music therapy has been proven to be successful for a range of issues, such as anxiety, grief and loss, stress, PTSD and more. Studies have even demonstrated that it can reduce depression symptoms by increasing self-worth, improving memory retention and stimulating social interaction (Jamabo et al., 2014; Koelsch, 2009).
Multicultural awareness is an integral element of therapy, and a good music therapist must be knowledgeable about their client’s culture. This requires more than simply understanding the language or country of origin – it necessitates an intimate understanding of their values, beliefs and traditions as well.
If you are an elderly person, music therapy could be a cost-effective and effective solution to combatting depression and anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Psychology and Aging showed that music therapy reduced depressive symptoms among elderly residents at a nursing home.
A randomized controlled trial revealed that older adults who received group music therapy experienced significantly greater improvements in depression symptoms compared to those without the intervention. The standardized mean difference between the groups was 1.02, with an effect size of large magnitude.