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Music Therapy: Alternative Approaches to Psychotherapy

Poster for 2017 Lunch-and-Learn Speaker Series featuring Music Therapy: Alternative Approaches to Psychotherapy

Music Therapy: Alternative Approaches to Psychotherapy

Join us for the fourth and final event in our 2017 Lunch-and-Learn Speaker Series!

Topic: Music Therapy
Speaker: Heidi Ahonen, PhD, RP, MTA, FAMI.

Psychotherapy: Alternative Approaches
A lunch-and-learn speaker series for those wishing to explore different approaches to therapy – for professionals and students of psychotherapy, social work, psychology, or related fields.

Music existed before written language. There has always been music for different situations, and favorite music for every person. Music has always been used to communicate, store history, instruct, comfort, hook people together, relax, and stimulate. Many ancient civilizations knew about the power of music and used it in their healing practices. The history of music therapy and music medicine describe how rhythms, melodies, and harmonies were used to harmonize the mind and body. Many ancient physicians and healers described music as a therapeutic tool.

As a music therapist I know that music has the power to heal because I have personally experienced it so many times. I know that music can make me cry and laugh, weep or dance. Music can bring me peace, or stir up for a conflict and irritation. I fully recognize there is something there in music that indeed is transformative and powerful enough to make a difference in people’s lives. I know how to communicate my deepest emotions with music! But what is it really that makes music so powerful? Is it the collective unconscious that allows us to understand each other’s music on a deep, intimate level? Is it so that certain melodies, harmonies, rhythms can have amazing effects on both our emotions and our perception? Or is it because as human beings we actually are musical beings? Or as, Oliver Sacks (2008) puts it, we have not even begun to understand the power of music…

This paper presentation introduces the psychological and neurological rationale for using music as a therapeutic tool.

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