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Implications of Music Analysis in Psychodynamic Music Therapy

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Implications of Music Analysis in Psychodynamic Music Therapy

Psychodynamic music therapy is an effective treatment option for clients suffering from various psychiatric and emotional disorders. The therapeutic relationship, transference dynamics, and countertransference dynamics are often central elements in this process. The primary goal of music therapy is to assist clients in reaching their individualized therapeutic objectives.

Psychodynamic music therapy typically employs singing, listening, improvisation and guided imagery; however these methods are not standardized and may differ between therapists depending on their clinical knowledge and experiences.

Improvisation plays a special role in psychodynamic music therapy, where it’s seen as an effective and unique method for exploring nonverbal musical projection and communication of clients’ emotions, thoughts, and feelings during sessions. This process has benefits both the therapist and client by offering insight into underlying psychological issues.

Throughout therapy sessions, clients’ improvisations are recorded and stored on a computer application so they can listen back at any time during their therapy process. This enables clients to express themselves creatively through music while practicing self-regulation of emotions.

Participants interviewed for this study demonstrated two spectra of attitudes toward music analysis and musical analysis: perspective (a tendency towards a holistic or reductionist viewpoint) and parameters (focus on primary or secondary musical parameters). A model-based mindset stressed the need to analyze patterns in order to comprehend music therapy theory and create working methods, while a context-based mindset was more interpretive and empathic towards individual cases.

Surprisingly, both spectra were present in the interviews; participants with greater academic involvement tended to adopt a model-based mindset while those with less professional involvement tended to be more context based.

In addition to the interview questions, the interviewers formulated additional inquiries that explored participants’ views on various aspects of music analysis in music therapy, such as: how to utilize its results in their practice; how they interpret them; and whether their understanding had an impact on their work as a music therapist. The purpose of these queries was to elicit participants’ perceptions and perspectives on these topics so that future research could be informed by them.

This study revealed that participants valued music analysis within the context of their practice and saw it as a useful tool. Furthermore, they saw analysis as essential to successful therapy, providing them with insights into what makes up successful therapies and helping them meet individual therapeutic objectives. Finally, music analysis became an integral part of their work process and served to communicate effectively with patients.

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