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Music Therapy

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By Angie Best-Boss, Contributing Writer

Music is an incredibly powerful form of expression. It combines both words and sound to deliver a message. Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music.

Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings, explains the American Music Therapy Association.

Music therapist Katrina McFerran, in “Dangerous Liaisons: Group Work for Adolescent Girls who have Anorexia Nervosa,” explains that in her experience, “The use of song writing has been particularly effective in freeing patients to express themselves in a creative way that also articulates important aspects of their experience. The contribution of this material to the multi-disciplinary team has allowed a higher level of support and understanding to be facilitated between the young people and their medical support staff. It has also been a powerful medium for sharing difficult stories with family members and loved ones.”

For assistance in finding a music therapist, contact The American Music Therapy Association at 301-589-3300 or


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