Popular Music Therapy Methods
Music therapy is a type of psychotherapy that utilizes music to assist individuals in managing emotional and psychological difficulties. With its long history, this type of treatment has proven successful for treating mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, addiction, and insomnia.
Some music therapy techniques aim to boost a patient’s self-image and confidence, while others help them relax and reduce stress. These strategies are tailored specifically for each patient’s individual needs and can be utilized alone or alongside other forms of therapy.
Lyric discussion is a therapy technique that asks patients to listen to music, read lyrics and discuss what the songs mean. This enables therapists to address technical aspects of the music while also probing into any underlying issues that might be causing problems for the client. This approach has proven particularly helpful for individuals with low self-esteem; often used as part of an initial assessment by therapists.
Playing instruments is another music therapy method that can assist children and adolescents in honing their listening, communication, and socialization skills in a group setting. This is especially beneficial for those who have difficulty speaking, as it fosters an atmosphere of belonging and empathy among group members.
Instrumental ensembles are a popular music therapy approach that can be used to assist children with emotional disorders, developmental delays and other difficulties. It improves social skills and self-regulation in children, as well as helping them tackle behavioral problems or teach teamwork skills.
Musical improvisation is an interactive process where clients improvise on various instruments like drums, guitar, or piano. The aim is to find the best way to express emotions through music while improving one’s listening and communication abilities.
Shultis describes rhythmic-based activities as a form of music therapy that can be beneficial for improving joint mobility/agility/strength, balance and coordination. They may also aid in motor integration and help those with receptive or expressive processing problems improve their capacity to tolerate and process sensory information more effectively.
The djembe, or hand drum, is a widely-used music therapy instrument that can be played close to the patient. This allows clients to communicate with their therapist through playing without fear of making an error and it creates an intimate bond between them and their therapist.
Singing is a musical therapy technique that may be beneficial for those suffering from emotional problems or disabilities. Singing promotes self-worth while also building socialization and communication abilities.
A music therapist uses their training and experience to determine what types of music work best with each client. Based on the person’s age, interests, and abilities, they will customize each session according to those individual needs.
Selecting music as therapy can be highly rewarding. This receptive method is especially popular with adolescents and clients who struggle to regulate their emotions or self-control. Typically, this involves guided visual imagery where the client is encouraged to visualize themselves in a pleasant environment while listening to soothing music.