Music therapy will now be offered as a support for individuals with mental health concerns, or individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities. As an evidence-based, creative treatment, music therapy should be considered as part of the total care package for these individuals. In this letter, I have included some background information about Music Therapy and its potential benefits. A Music Therapy Fact sheet and Music Therapy referral form is also included.
“Music Therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by an accredited music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Music has nonverbal, creative, structural, and emotional qualities. These are used in the therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, learning, self-expression, communication, and personal development”. Canadian Association for Music Therapy
Through the therapeutic relationship in Music Therapy, trust is developed and helps to create a positive and non-threatening environment that is completely focused on a client’s needs and well-being. Music Therapy provides an outlet for personal expression and intellectual enlightenment. It fosters participation and involvement, allowing a client to feel a sense of accomplishment and increase their confidence. This then will help a client build the tools they need to help themselves throughout their life.
A significant amount of peer reviewed research of Music Therapy has proven to be a beneficial intervention for a wide variety of populations, such as (but not limited to) children and adults with Depression, Anxiety, Sleep Challenges, Stress, Mental Illness, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Neurological Impairments, Head Injuries, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Fine and Gross Motor Delays, Social and Behavioral Challenges, and Speech Difficulties. Music Therapy is client focused, and the treatment plan, musical instruments, techniques and interventions used are based on the client’s needs.
Read more at the Canadian Association of Music Therapists here.