MUSIC THERAPY: AN INNOVATIVE NON-MEDICINAL APPROACH
MUSIC THERAPY: DEFINITION
There is no single definition of music therapy that satisfies the unanimity of practitioners. This practice is transdisciplinary and summons both the musical and therapeutic dimension.
Today music therapy is practiced on practically every continent at the institutional level or in a liberal cabinet. Music therapy can be defined as a form of psychotherapy mediated by music (and more broadly by sound).
Her practice is part of a relational dynamics of help , used in different clinical contexts (therapy, social mediation, hospitalization, motor rehabilitation …), with people showing psychic or physical suffering.
Some authors, practitioners or researchers, have revealed the therapeutic benefits of music therapy , both at the somatic level (research of Dr. S. Guétin on chronic and acute pain) than psychic (J. Assabgui, R. Benenzon, E. Lecourt , G. Rosolato …).
Like any psychotherapy, it requires :
- A frame : (location, frequency, duration and number of sessions)
- One or more patients depending on whether the session is individual or collective
- A therapist (duly trained in artistic and psycho-therapeutic practice)
- Specific methods and techniques (psycho-musical techniques)
- A theoretical clinical reference (psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, psycho-dynamic, …)
- Objectives, indications and therapeutic contraindications
- Clinical evaluations
- But above all a “know-how” with the symptom of the patient
WHO DOES THE MUSIC THERAPY?
There are no good or bad reasons for consulting a music therapist. It is the desire of everyone to face their own difficulties (relational, behavioral, physical, professional or psychic). The problems (symptoms) leading to mediated psychotherapy can be many and varied: depression, feeling of uneasiness, phobic episodes, anxiety, sexual disorder, addiction, social, conjugal or professional difficulties, cognitive or somatic disorders.
The practice of music therapy does not require any particular knowledge or musical skills, it is addressed to all without distinction.
The music therapy is particularly suited to people facing difficulties or inability to use verbal language (autism, psychosis, massive inhibitions …)
THE DIFFERENT APPROACHES IN MUSIC THERAPY
Incoming approach : This involves proposing the listening of a sequence of musical pieces or sound extracts , chosen by the patient or the music therapist. Another alternative is to listen to a sound production played by the music therapist using the body (voice) or a musical instrument (guitar, xylophone, saxophone …). This allows to induce a state of relaxation or to promote the verbal development of the emotions associated with this listening (memories, mental images, evocations, sensations).
Active or participatory approach: During a first interview, therapeutic objectives are defined with the patient, considering his / her request, his symptoms and his possibilities (especially on the psychomotor side). The patient is invited to explore musical objects (voice, body or musical instruments), spontaneously or aroused, in the exchange of therapeutic relational dynamics. The instrumental practice allows the person to verbalize his feelings, his difficulties, relying on the musical experience of the session (listening, sound production, relationship to the other and the object). The main psycho-musical techniques are improvisation, ” playing it together Or the composition of arrangements or songs.
A CARE OF SUPPORT
Dr. Stéphane Guétin and Professor Jacques Touchon (University Hospital of Montpellier) – winners of the 2010 medical awards, stress that ” music therapy, [is] a innovative non-drug approach in the field of neurology and algology . Today, non-medical treatments to manage pain and stress of patients are insufficient.
These are all the more necessary treatments in diseases with chronic pain (fibromyalgia) or high psycho-behavioral incidence (Alzheimer’s disease). Faced with this observation, Dr. Guétin standardized a method of relaxation by music available at the hospital and at home. Composers with different musical styles (classical, electro-jazz, world music) have created melodies whose rhythm and orchestration allow the relaxation of the patient.
After listening, the patient ‘verbalizes’ his feelings, resulting in better communication between the patient and the hospital staff .”
Be careful to learn about the music therapist’s training , the legal status is not yet clearly defined, many drifts were observed from practitioners not trained in clinical psychology or psychopathology.
In order to guarantee an ethical and deontological clinical practice, it is important that the practitioner is also a psychologist, psychiatrist or psychoanalyst .