Music Therapy Thesis Proposal

Engaging in music therapy has been likened to grounding yourself in reality, replacing states like fear and anxiety (Podolsky, 1954).The benefits of music therapy for mental health closely resemble the recognized benefits of a recovery-oriented practice.This distributed nature of music in the brain allows preservation of musical functions despite the loss of a related non-musical function, in cases of Alzheimer’s, for example.Music improves health and well-being through the engagement of the neurochemical systems responsible for: Dopamine plays a major role in reward, motivation, and pleasure.Unresolved exposure to trauma can lead to mental health problems such as PTSD and depression.Music therapy provides individuals with an opportunity to be listened to, to find ways of managing distress, and to communicate experiences that are not always easily put into words (Mc Caffrey, Edwards, & Fannon, 2011). Positive Impacts on Social Interactions Participation in group music therapy such as singing or playing an instrument with others has been found to have positive impacts on social interactions, communication skills, well-being, hope, and optimism (Clift, 2012). Subjective Well-being Music therapy is associated with increases in perceived enjoyment, happiness, enhanced quality of life and improved mental health (Rio, 2005). Positive Experiences Carefully structured music therapy sessions enhance the potential for positive experiences, leading to positive effects on factors such as self-esteem or self-efficacy (Hohmann, Bradt, Stegeman, & Koelsch, 2017).Self-esteem is important for mental health; if we don’t believe in our own self-worth can we ever really reach our true potential?Individuals with an external locus of control regard experiences as a result of external factors.

Music Therapy Thesis Proposal-87Music Therapy Thesis Proposal-39

Advances in technology in the realm of neuroimaging have allowed researchers to understand the neurological mechanisms and effects that music has on the brain, demonstrating that music processing is distributed throughout the cortex, subcortex, and cerebellum (Peretz and Zatorre, 2005).

While further research in the area is warranted, the ramifications of these initial findings could be vast in terms of analgesic interventions with regard to pain-management.

Cortisol – the brain’s built in alarm system – is mainly released at times of stress and arousal.

This practice of healing through music and rhythm continues in cultures all over the world.

Music therapy is a research-based practice in which music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and well-being.

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