Music Therapy For Borderline Personality Disorder
Music can often serve as a therapeutic tool for those suffering from borderline personality disorder, helping them manage their intense emotions and feelings. Studies have demonstrated that listening to music can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms in these individuals.
MMT may help people with PDs improve their impulse control and self-control, as well as reduce aggression and interpersonal difficulties. Based on this hypothesis, researchers are exploring whether music therapy could be an effective tool in treating patients suffering from PDs.
Though research into the use of mindfulness therapy (MT) for people with PDs and maladaptive personality traits has been limited in scope and quality, it has demonstrated that MT can be beneficial. These findings offer hope for further exploration in this area and may point towards potential treatments that address PD symptoms.
Personality disorders are psychological conditions characterized by distorted and behaviorally maladaptive personality traits and behaviors which significantly impair an individual’s capacity for social interactions. Furthermore, these disorders often accompany low levels of self-esteem and confidence.
Recently, there has been a revolution in the way mentalized-based treatment (MBT) is provided for people with psychiatric disorders. MBT involves intensive outpatient therapy that combines traditional therapist-patient relationships with an innovative, creative model of therapy that incorporates both classical and contemporary approaches to practicing psychiatric therapies.
This type of therapy utilizes musical improvisation as one method for providing a more open, expressive and emotional form of communication. The purpose is to enable patients to express themselves in ways they may not feel comfortable doing elsewhere.
Many improvisation sessions are solo performances, though some involve two people. They can range in structure and repetition from structured to highly spontaneous. Participants have the freedom to perform certain parts of a song or not as part of their improvisation experience. Furthermore, improvisations provide an opportunity to explore various elements within music such as melody, harmony, rhythm dynamics and timbre through exploration of these aspects.
Improvisation performed in a group provides musicians with an opportunity to hone their teamwork and collaboration skills. It helps them identify conflict, manage it effectively, solve issues together, and create rewarding experiences for all involved.
People with BPD often benefit from music improvisation. A study involving patients with BPD found that their skills at playing instruments and improvising showed improvement, leading to greater self-assuredness when handling instruments during performances.
People with BPD often rely on their music therapist and copy other people’s movements instead of playing freely or expressing their own musical ideas. Furthermore, they have less control over timing than non-BPD patients.
At each improvisation, we measured 15 aspects of each participant’s playing across different sections. These included temporal characteristics which could serve as behavioral measures of impulsivity and interpersonal processes (IPS). Results revealed that normal healthy controls tend to play their notes significantly behind therapist’s notes in section B1; however, this phenomenon is only apparent during the first part of freer improvisations.