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Music therapy in Behaviouristic Psychotherapy

For the field of behaviouristic psychotherapy, Atrash-Jucan highlighted that music therapy creates a favorable environment for behaviouristic psycho-therapeutic treatments mainly with its non-verbal communicative and emotional nature plus its ability in promoting relaxation and calmness. According to Atrash-Jucan, the communicative factor of music is known to be especially successful among autistic clients, leading them to communicate with their environment. Furthermore, music therapy’s positive results in behaviouristic psychotherapy has also been proven to apply to all ages, children or adults, young or old. (Atrash-Jucan & Vasiliu, 2012)


The effects of music therapy in this aspect includes : elimination of negative emotions, fear, anxiety, depression pathological or physiological fatigue, having power to make the depth of previous emotional experiences greater, producing aesthetic emotions that differs from individuals, promoting self-control, self-knowledge and communication, contributing to motoric and sensoric rehabilitation. (Atrash-Jucan & Vasiliu, 2012)


From my personal experience, Klang Massage (Sound Massage) with Tibet resonating bowls is often useful in promoting relaxation and calmness for the clients. The sensational vibration (especially when the bowls are placed directly on the body) and soothing tones brought forth when the bowls are played optimally  produces an exceptionally cathartic and relaxing effect. Other receptive forms of music therapy like Klang Erlebnis (Sound Experience), playing assuasive music through CD/MP3 Player, live instrument(s) and/or through the human vocals; are often capable of producing similar relaxing effect physically and mentally as well. 


Playing percussion instruments (usually including but not limited to Bongo, Conga, Cajon or Djembe) together with clients often opens up an effective non-verbal way of communication with the clients (especially for clients with autism or depression from my personal experience). The music therapist could typically conduct a percussion session in an “initiate and response” manner, music and/or vocals accompaniment style or even music lesson form. Whichever kind of method, style or form works for both individual and group music therapies.



 Atrash-Jucan, A., & Vasiliu, L. (2012). Music therapy, a tool for the rehabilitation and education of disabled students. Methods and Techniques. In Latest Advances in Acoustics and Music (pp. 34-38). WSEAS Press.

Gideon Lo is also a practicing Music Therapist holding a Masters Degree (M.A.) qualification in Developmental Music Therapy and Music Therapy with Dementia Patients


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Copyright (C) 2015 Manning Music Centre Pte Ltd. All Rights Reserved.