How music therapy chimes with clients

Music therapy has the ability to speak to patients in a way that words cannot, it has been suggested. Sandra Curtis, a Professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University, noted music can act in a similar way to medicine as she uses the sounds to engage in psychological dialogue with various individuals who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.

Professor Curtis described the advantages of this technique in The Arts in Psychotherapy, in which she also talks of her own experiences with the subject matter.

She explained that while music therapy often focuses on social justice issues for women, children and marginalised groups, it also has the potential to look at global topics - including the environment and war - with a feminist understanding.

An upcoming conference entitled Gender, Health & Creative Arts Therapies is to be held at the learning institute in May and Professor Curtis said she hopes members of the local community will join in and help increase awareness of music therapy.

She stated: "I eagerly anticipate dialoguing with others who are working in the trenches, outside of the box and in the margins."

Dr Mike Lowis, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "Music communicates emotion, whereas words communication facts and ideas. It is a very useful tool for interacting with individuals who have a range of behavioural or psychological challenges and, in this regard, Music Therapists play an important role in health care."

"It is a novel idea to use this procedure for social justice and gender issues, as has been the case for other creative arts therapies such as drama. It will be interesting to see how Professor Curtis approaches such applications."

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