Music therapy is a direction of therapy used to correct existing defects and develop the necessary qualities both in the field of somatics and psychotherapy, based on the use of musical compositions and their influence on the body. In its manifestation, as an auxiliary method, music therapy copes well and is widely used as a preparation for complex therapeutic techniques (long training, deep therapeutic contact) or, being an effective basic method of rehabilitation for patients of any age and diseases, shows good results in the initial stages. In addition to the rehabilitation and correctional spheres, it is used to establish a favorable social climate, music therapy reveals creative abilities and contributes to the organic course of the pedagogical process.
Types of music therapy differ in the prevailing orientation:
- receptive (a person remains passive and his task is only to listen to the work or the selection of certain points in the melody);
- active (the person himself actively creates music or sounds by playing instruments, beating rhythms or singing);
- integrative (combines in the work of several types of art, in addition to music, which may include drawings and dramatic improvisation, a combination with poetry and stories).
Each of the methods, being universal, has its own nuances, is more suitable for group or individual sessions, so the music psychotherapist should select the right program, and the expectation that you will receive the same visible effect by unauthorized listening to the works may not be justified, as well as aggravate the condition.
Music therapy for neurosis, emotional instability and many violations of the mental sphere takes more and more confident positions, and in some cases can completely replace drug therapy. At the moment, types of music therapy are divided into two main schools: American and Swedish. The American direction focused on studying the influence of certain musical compositions on the mental sphere of a person, as a result of which catalogs of works were created that are used in certain disorders. The basis of separation occurs by the effects of the work, either stimulating or sedative.
The main theoretical basis is the theory of psychoanalysis and the necessary relaxation of experiences (catharsis), which is achieved with the help of music. The goal of the works is to open channels for experiencing and releasing accumulated emotions, which is important when working with fears, anxieties and other mechanisms that block the natural course of the process of emotional living. Musical works, influencing the sphere of sensory perception, first actualize the experience, then help them to gain strength and pour out, by means of sounds. Then, when the psyche stops intolerable emotions, music allows them to flow safely and rhythmically, moving behind the tone of the work. The American model of psychotherapy selects for each disease or violation of his work, which showed the effectiveness of finding catharsis.
The Swedish School of Music Therapy does not conduct a clear cataloging of works and prioritizes the impact of music even at the physical level and is perceived as a way to gain access to the deepest personality layers. Music is used as a way to establish contact, when a person behaves in a closed way, and there is no possibility to work in the system of interactive communication, then you can work through the emotions caused by music and talk about the person’s experiences associated with it. The music is also divided into activating and soothing, and the basis of the application is based on the choice of authentic sounds (in low mood, apathy, quiet and calm works are chosen, when angry and excited, loud and saturated, which allows actualizing the person’s condition and giving him their own experiences for conscious contact ).
Music therapy sessions do not take a lot of time (usually one piece is listened for, lasting from five minutes to half an hour, and then a discussion takes place). With individual work, the focus may be repelled by the client’s request and vary from meeting to meeting, or the complex for home listening will be selected. With group therapy, more time is spent on establishing a safe and trusting environment between the group members, and the choice of works will depend on the focus of the group (patients with neurosis or people with depressive disorder, hyperactivity or insomnia).
Music has a direct impact on various systems of human organs - it affects the frequency and depth of breathing, heartbeats, the pace of the neural pathways, tension or muscle relaxation. Through such mediated effect, it is possible to achieve changes in the emotional state, this influence is most fully described in body-oriented psychology, which deals with the interrelation of somatic manifestations and emotional experiences. Examples show how a person in anxiety calms down. When the heart rate decreases, and how to achieve something like this - with the help of medications or by listening to music remains a matter of choice, both for the patient himself and for his therapist.
Music therapy for neurosis, the development of communication skills, the regulation of psycho-vegetative reactions and the extraction of emotional responses in interactive psychotherapy is the most successful method. The work takes place by normalizing the emotional background, by receiving relaxation and increasing awareness of existing problems through contact and updating them in music. When the acute phase is removed and the resources of the person are stable and filled with possible staging of confrontation with the existing difficulties and finding a new solution that can be found in the work itself, using the sensitivity of the client and his imagination. Further, music therapy helps the development of new ways of emotional presentation in the world, as well as the formation of new life strategies and social relations.
Music therapy is capable of correcting a rather extensive spectrum of mental states, but it is worth understanding that with serious violations it can act only as an auxiliary method, and at certain stages should not be used at all. Thus, patients in acute psychotic state should not arrange music therapy sessions. Because immersion into one's emotions and images can aggravate the situation for a person who is immersed in his fantasies - until the moment of recovery from a crisis, the main task of psychotherapy will be to establish links with reality, and only after fixing a stable state is it possible to work out emotional components. Music therapy is also undesirable for epileptics, or it should be used very cautiously, since musical waves affect the brain and, if they enter a resonance, they can provoke a convulsive fit. For the treatment of depressed mood, music therapy is excellent, but a way out of severe depression is possible only with drug support and other methods of psychotherapy.
Music Therapy for the Elderly
Music therapy for the elderly has become a real discovery, being both a way of perception and contact with the world, and a way of correcting existing violations. The process of exposure is based on the fact that musical vibrations resonate with vibrations of the human body and its individual systems and cells. When harmony is disturbed, the vibrations of the body change, and the music can align them with the usual regular rhythm. This is true for the work of individual systems (there are works that improve memory, and there are those that normalize pressure). Usually, with age, the harmony of an organism becomes not a given, but that which requires constant support and care, if you ignore this need, then diseases of the body are more likely to develop, and the psyche, which has previously dealt with any emotional overload, becomes too sensitive, old psychological injuries.
The most popular application of music therapy in the elderly is the equalization of pressure and the provision of sedation, the results of which are visible after the first session. But it is impossible to limit the ability of the method to two choices, the effectiveness is seen with pain and loss of tissue flexibility, with rehabilitation of strokes and operations (the recovery process is accelerated due to increased cell activity during periods of music therapy).
Music therapy has proven its effectiveness in the development of intellectual functions, because it improves brain function. For the elderly, it is the prevention of memory disorders and senile dementia. The ability to search for new ways of action and adapt to environmental conditions is an indicator of the body's youth. Regardless of the number in the passport. It has been established that people whose life is filled with various musical works adapt better and constantly evolve, master new things, while those who do not listen to music or listen to the same type gradually degrade in their development (this applies not only to older people, but since teenage).
Music therapy helps to adjust the amount of energy in the body and blood pressure, which makes it possible to relieve the body from taking medicines. Also revealed a relaxing and analgesic effect that becomes relevant for overloaded muscles.
The focus on age crises ends in a mid-life crisis, but it is followed by another equally important one, when life priorities and goals change, relatives leave, the very routine of everyday life and the possibilities of one’s own body change. It is not customary to talk about such changes, but by their strength and shock for a person they are comparable to adolescents, when a person does not know what to expect from himself, those around him, and what to do now with the changed world.
Music therapy allows you to find new ways to release accumulated emotions, burn losses, revise the established attitude to situations. Attentive listening to the change and the rhythm of the work allows you to find new strategies for building your life, for example, you can see the opportunity to slow down and enjoy what is happening, and not drive horses like before, or consider new opportunities, for example, finally, sit at an easel.