What is music therapy?
Music therapy is a type of psychotherapy where music is used alongside talking to enable self-exploration and the safe expression of difficult emotions.
No musical experience or skill is necessary – when it feels comfortable, you will be asked to try out various instruments and the sounds they make, and from there your therapist will improvise with you.
The relationship between you and your therapist is crucial to this type of therapy and forms a key part of the work during the music improvisations.
We know that music therapy can be extremely useful and effective for people:
- whose relationship as a young child with their main caregiver was very disruptive or abusive
- who have suffered childhood trauma, the music provides a safe place to explore aspects of this type of trauma
- who find expressing emotions or connecting with emotions difficult.
It can also be a helpful approach for people who are on the autistic spectrum, providing a safe and less direct means of forming a therapeutic relationship.
The music is often used in conjunction with other creative techniques such as sandtray (placing figures and objects in the sand for more symbolic representation) or other approaches, according to individual need.
Music therapy explained