I know I promised a new blog post during the previous week, but an unexpected temporary job opportunity popped up that I could not turn down. This past week I learned that you can indeed go home and make a difference, even if its temporary.
During the last blog post, I briefly defined music therapy and the many facets and purposes of the practice in everyday life. I discussed the therapeutic relationship, goals, and the various methods that music can help facilitate a therapeutic relationship between practitioner and client. However, I always can't help but feel that I have only touched the surface. Music therapy practice encompasses many populations, goals, and interventions that are not commonly known by the average professional. I have decided to spend the time in this blog to describe some intervention strategies in music therapy commonly used by MT-BC's.
Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) was developed by groundbreaking music therapist Helen Bonny. The GIM method is suitable for relatively well and cognitively stable adults who are looking for self-exploration and insight-oriented therapy. GIM utilizes psychotherapeutic process and is seeks to explore unconscious thoughts, feelings, motivations, fears, trauma and past experiences. The GIM process occurs in multi steps and includes a pre-therapy assessment with journaling and verbal therapy. The music experience is receptive in nature and primarily consists of pre-recorded classical or new-age instrumental music programmed for a verbal induction. The therapist serves as facilitator and uses verbal dialogue to induce the client into an altered state with support. The music serves as the transformative tool and the content of the music (e.g., dynamics, instrumentation, melodic contour) helps to move the client through unconscious exploration. The GIM process occurs during multiple sessions and can only be facilitated by a music therapist or professional who has been elevated to a fellow (FAMI). The process to become a FAMI is strenuous and it takes roughly 5 years to complete the training including self-therapy in which the music therapist assumes the role of client with an approved FAMI facilitator and trainer.
Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) is commonly associated with neurology, stroke rehabilitation and medical brain pathologies. A music therapist who has attained the NMT credentials has completed training that involves direct clinical hours, conferences, seminars, and papers in conjunction with medical courses. NMT was established as an enhancement to the music therapy profession by Dr. Michael Thaut at Colorado State University and serves to help individuals dealing with hemispheric brain abnormalities including stroke rehabilitation, Traumatic Brain injury, cognitive disabilities including autism spectrum disorders and gait disorders including parkinson's disease. Methods commonly used by NMT music therapists include: Therapeutic Instrumental Music Play (TIMP), Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT), and Rhythmic Auditory Stimulus (RAS).
Tomorrow, I will continue to delve deeper into music therapy and talk about Creative Music Therapy or Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and the importance of musical improvisation for therapeutic processes.