Music Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease

As pain is a predominant feature associated with sickle cell disease, we focus on pain management provided through music therapy. Additional goals of care address psychosocial issues related to coping with chronic illness, which is especially important for reducing levels of emotional stress. Music therapy can help to reduce physical pain and prevent a sickle cell crisis. A medical music psychotherapy approach addresses physiological symptoms of pain and all thoughts and feelings of patients who experience chronic and acute pain.

Clinical improvisation provides an alternative, nonverbal means of release for a patient in pain. Active music listening techniques including music visualization, redirection, and music-assisted relaxation may reduce the perception of pain as well as decrease stress. 

Our expert team of music therapists offer the most current medical music psychotherapy techniques in pain management, sedation and breathing modalities of music, and healing. Music therapy sessions may include live improvisation, drumming, gong and vibration, toning, guided visualization, song writing, song sensitization, and music meditation with the guidance of a music therapist.

Clinical services currently available can include:

  • Integrative multi-modal project groups that include the use of art, writing, photography, and body movement. The group has the opportunity to share these projects and their work with creative arts modalities with the community during open functions
  • Monthly support group sessions for outpatient adults with sickle cell disease. The group gathers once a month to share the experience of living with sickle cell anemia and to explore the healing properties of music for pain-reduction, tension release and stress-reduction to improve quality of life by creating meaningful musical experiences
  • Music therapy to provide individual bedside sessions to provide continuity of care during a sickle cell crisis