What Is Music Therapy?
Music therapy is a profession that uses music as a treatment for people. It has proven successful in treating conditions such as depression, anxiety, autism and PTSD. Being multidisciplinary in nature, its practitioners include doctors and nurses who collaborate to achieve the best results for each client.
Music is becoming more commonplace in healthcare settings. Not only does it reduce stress, lift their spirits and ease pain, but it can also enhance coordination and boost energy levels.
In order to provide the most appropriate treatment for each person, a therapist must evaluate their specific needs and goals. This may be done through either a consultation process or face-to-face session. After this assessment has been made, they will create an individualized treatment plan.
Musical techniques (like singing, dancing and drumming) can be employed in the therapeutic process. For instance, if a client is working on strengthening and flexibility, their therapist might incorporate dance into the session to promote increased flexibility.
Music therapy comes in many forms and each has its own advantages. Guided imagery and music (GIM) is one such psychotherapy that uses classical music to assist patients in exploring personal growth and transformation.
This approach has been shown to promote mental and physical wellbeing, as well as assist patients with psychiatric disorders, learning disabilities, autism, dementia and behavioral difficulties. It is an individualized form of therapy which can be conducted by a certified music therapist.
Neuromuscular-tuning (NMT) is a form of music therapy that uses various techniques to stimulate brain changes and enhance motor abilities. While it’s especially helpful for individuals with neurological disabilities, anyone having trouble controlling their muscles or emotions can benefit from NMT.
The Nordoff-Robbins 2-year training program equips musicians with specialized skills to work with children, adults, and elderly patients. Utilizing music that is familiar to each patient, they create new music together or work towards a performance.
Music therapists may use instruments tailored specifically for each patient’s treatment. For instance, if someone has autism or difficulty communicating verbally, music therapists might opt for a mini guitar instead of the regular piano; it’s highly portable and can be taken home or to the nursing home.
Music therapy treatments may incorporate various meditation and relaxation methods. One example is the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), which utilizes classical music combined with imagery to promote relaxation, focus, and concentration.
This method involves a therapist working to guide the patient through an image or thought-process with music added for focus and communication. The aim is to promote a positive mental state and boost self-esteem.