The Music in Music Therapy

This book provides a deeper insight into the aspects of the therapeutic process which are enabled by music.

The Music in Music Therapy ISBN: 978-1849053532

The Music in Music Therapy

By Jos De Backer and Julie Sutton

RRP: £26.99

Jessica Kingsley Publishers (21 July 2014) | [email protected]

Therapy & Psychotherapy


Purchase Review

Bringing together a wide range of European thought on music therapy practice, this book provides a deeper insight into the aspects of the therapeutic process which are enabled by music. With a theoretical, psychodynamic approach and high quality clinical case material from across Europe, the editors stress the role of music within music therapy and show how essential the musician is within the identity of a music therapist. The first of its kind, this comprehensive text is an invaluable resource for experienced music therapists worldwide, alongside students and trainees.

Music Therapy Is Straightforwardly Indispensible

To put it plainly: this book is complex. Indeed, one imagines that it would prove a challenging read for musical experts. Complexity aside: this cutting-edge book is truly indispensable.

Music as a form of therapy is something most of us have experienced to varying levels throughout life. Music is, for instance, of viewed as a means of escape – when we are lost in or caught up in music, we get a sense of ourselves through music coming from outside ourselves that is also felt internally. In a nutshell, this place or sense, according to music therapists, is the “bio-grammar” (where experience is felt and thinking begins), and furthermore the “form giving” exchange between therapist and patient occurring through listening to music or via musical improvisation is “psychodynamic” in nature.

This is where things start to get a little complicated. In musical psychotherapeutic practice, this place is identified by a kind of “rhythmic pulsing”, and this pulsing is described as a proto-structure having a relational matrix with a flexible and fluctuating organic movement (analogous to a heartbeat), which creates an anticipatory space for something – for something not yet there. And it is here, where this pulsing invites the psychotic or autistic patient to join in (who has no internal metre, no pulsing), because this space at which thinking can emerge is also the edge of, and basis for, symbolising; which has now been given space to potentially exist for the patient. Very straightforward.

This book has fourteen varied and fascinating clinical/research perspectives from across Europe to give this field serious multifaceted depth and is essential equipment for those interested in this field.

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