Music Therapy

 Music therapy can help patients with psychological issues such as handling stress and improving socialization and communication skills. It can also help the body heal through tension release, regaining speech, and handling pain.


Podcast Transcript

[00:00:00] Anna: Flowers, they grow just to die/feelings, they come just to hide

[00:00:27] I don't wanna outgrow my own little part/Too scared to let go So I'll find a better spot

[00:00:48] Stephen: This is Road to Resilience, a podcast about facing adversity. I'm Stephen Calabria. What you're hearing is a song by an 18-year-old patient at Mount Sinai's Louie Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine. The patient, named Anna wrote, recorded, produced, and engineered the whole track. which is called "That's Why I'm Like This."

[00:01:07] The song was crucial in enabling Anna to manage complex emotions, and to find her voice at an age in which it can be difficult to build autonomy and confidence. Anna's story is but one small example of the clinical treatment and the research pioneered by the Armstrong Center and its team of music therapists.

[00:01:25] One such music therapist at the Armstrong Center is Caitlin Bell, who worked with Anna personally, and is an active researcher in a two year study undertaken by the Armstrong Center. The study, known as the Assessment of Music Experiences in Navigating Depression, or AMEND study, allows researchers to investigate the clinical and socially prescribed impact of music and music therapy on distinct populations susceptible to depression. We're excited to have Caitlin on the show to discuss her work with the Armstrong Center.

[00:02:02] Anna: That's why I'm like this, I guess.

[00:02:18] Stephen: Caitlin Bell. Welcome to Road to Resilience.

[00:02:20] Caitlin: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

[00:02:22] Stephen: To kick us off, what is music therapy and how does it differ from other kinds of therapy?

[00:02:29] Caitlin: Broadly speaking, music therapy is using music in a clinical and evidence-based way, using music interventions, to accomplish individualized goals within the therapeutic relationship. And music therapy is done by credentialed professionals who complete approved music therapy programs. So, essentially, it's incorporating the musical experience into the therapeutic relationship.

[00:02:54] Stephen: So, how is it determined that a given patient could uniquely benefit from music therapy?

[00:03:00] Caitlin: Music therapy isn't something that is indicated for every client, every patient, but every client or patient would go through an assessment process to determine whether or not music therapy might be beneficial for that person.

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