Music Therapy Misconceptions Clarified

One of the difficulties of the Music Therapy profession is educating an often misinformed public on the exact nature of the profession. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) has a FAQ section on their website that offers a nice plain language guide to give you a sense of the nature of music therapy, it’s applications, and how it is applied – including the certification programs.

AMTA Frequently Asked Questions web page

Also, in my interview with Karen Nisenson, Executive Director of Arts for Healing, an integrated creative arts therapy center, she discusses an example that explains the nature of music therapy and the effect that it can have on autistic patients. Listen on iTunes ( podcast) or follow this link.

2 thoughts on “Music Therapy Misconceptions Clarified”

  1. Have downloaded to take a listen . I am a trainee music therapist and so look forward to hearing what the podcast has to say. Happy new Year to you – A

  2. Thank you for taking the time to cover this topic. I am a music therapist working in New York City and often (almost always) find that people do not have any idea what music therapy is, and if they think they do have an idea, it is usually a misconception. I work with adolescents and adults suffering from eating disorders or struggling with weight loss issues. Music Therapy in this capacity is certainly not mainstream yet, but I am watching it catch on mostly because the work is so helpful and powerful.

    I find the creative arts therapies and integrative qualities of such therapy work to be extremely beneficial and healing. This work is all about building a relationship between the client and therapist. In music therapy, this relationship often happens because both of us are creative and creativity is in the room, which creates an added way of self-expression, in my experience.

    The work is not always fun and can be difficult and painful at times, but the power of music acts almost as an additional therapist in the room, helping the client through the difficult process. The music definitely acts as a partner in the emotional work that needs to be done.

    I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but thank you again for trying to clear up the misconceptions and educating others out there.


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