Music has long been known to affect one’s moods and emotions. Because of this, it has become more common for psychologists to integrate music with psychotherapy in addressing behavioral, emotional, and cognitive issues among their patients. Known as music therapy, these specially-designed programs are proving helpful to people with a wide variety of issues, from developmental delays to anxiety and mood disorders.
According to Robin D. Stone, LMHC, “Today, more people are making psychotherapy a part of their self-care practice. In the same way they have personal trainers, they are investing in therapists — and that’s a good thing.” That is the reason Music therapy is beneficial in numerous situations and is a great complement to traditional psychotherapy. That being said, there are some things you should remember if you’re undergoing music therapy.
What Does A Good Music Therapist Need?
Similar to traditional psychotherapy, music therapy is best practiced by experts in the field of psychology, or at least by a licensed counselor. Usually, music therapists are expected to have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or a similar field. In addition, they should also be certified by a major music therapy organization.
Generally, patients diagnosed with developmental, behavioral or other disorders start music therapy as recommended by their psychologist or counselor. However, anyone who feels that he can benefit from music therapy can scout for a practitioner within the vicinity or online to suit their individual needs. Whatever the case may be, it is always recommended to search and verify the qualifications of the therapist before getting the treatment or engaging in any kind of program that is available.
What To Expect From Music Therapy
“Therapy doesn’t have to be talk-based; there are some modalities, like music therapy and art therapy, that can help you get those in tune with those emotions without having to cough them up verbally.” Hannah Goodman, LMHC said. Since music therapy is a relatively new practice, prospective patients may have some questions regarding the method and how the sessions are done. Just as there are a wide variety of issues that can be addressed by music therapy, there are also many ways to administer the treatment. Depending on the patient’s specific condition, a practitioner would usually tailor the program to the patient’s needs and to the extent of his condition. That being said, there are several exercises that the practitioner uses in order to get the desired results, and these may all be modified as the treatment progresses to a higher level.
In other sessions, patients may have to listen to and discuss a particular type of music or song. Based on the feedback, the therapist may analyze his patient’s emotional state. Certain lyrics or parts of a song may also bring up important memories which a therapist may discuss in another session. Other possible exercises include group sessions, dancing, singing, and other musical expressions.
If you wish to know more about other music therapy techniques, you can always ask them for more information. For concerns which might affect your treatment (maybe performing in front of other people makes you especially anxious), it would be good to make it clear with your therapist even before your program begins. “Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.” Chris Corbett, PsyD explains.
In conclusion, a majority of the patients find the said therapy to be a very effective and uplifting form of psychotherapy. It has been proven helpful in addressing cognitive, behavioral, and emotional problems. Through one-on-one and group sessions, it may even help improve a patient’s interpersonal skills. As both an alternative and a complement to other types of therapies, mainstream music therapy is a great choice for many people hoping to improve their quality of life.