Media PA Music Therapy

Music Therapy / Music Counseling – Thriveworks, Media, PA, Delaware County, PA

Music has been around since the beginning of civilization and man first strung together a rhythm on some random object. Since then, music has been a source of communication and healing. Music has come to define generations and cultures. It is a daily part of our lives and has become something we wake up to, go to bed to, and work to. It is such an integral part of our lives that hardly a minute goes by that we are not exposed to some sort of rhythmic tune whether it be from our phones, we our humming a tune, TV, computer, or the radio.

How does music affect my emotions?

Music is very emotional and powerful and it affects our minds and our hearts. It can make us feel happy, sad, and afraid. It is a powerful tool and when used correctly can be an effective intervention to use in healing. Music therapy has been formally around since WW1 and WW2 when it was used to entertain troops. From its humble beginnings Music therapy has grown to be a clinical evidence based practice in treating mental health issues.

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is a form of expressive art therapy that uses music to improve and maintain the physical, psychological, social well being of individuals. The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) defines music therapy as “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional.” Music therapy is known to be particularly helpful with children, adolescents, and those who struggle to express themselves verbally.

What does music therapy involve?

Music therapy involves a broad range of activities such as listening to music, singing, and playing a musical instrument. Generally there are 4 music based interventions that are used in music therapy:

  1. Performing/Playing: singing or play an instrument
  2. Composing: writing a song
  3. Improvising: creating music on the spot
  4. Receiving /Listening: analyzing lyrics, moving to music

How can Music Therapy help Me?

Like all therapies the goal behind music therapy is to improve the overall mood and functioning on the individual. Music Therapy will allow the individual to:

  1. Explore personal feelings
  2. Make positive changes in mood
  3. Improve self awareness
  4. Develop coping and relaxation skills
  5. Improve conflict resolution skills
  6. Learn to better express yourself
  7. Improve concentration and attention span
  8. Identify and support positive and healthy feelings and thoughts
  9. Improve self confidence and self image
  10. Develop positive behaviors

Where can I get Music Therapy?

Although not regularly offered at most practices. At Thriveworks, we have licensed and clinically trained Board Certified Music Therapists on staff ready to address and meet your therapeutic needs.

Same and next-day appointments!

We also know how difficult it can be to get an appointment with a qualified therapist or counselor who accepts your health insurance. Many practices don’t even answer the phone, much less call you back if you leave a voicemail. At Thriveworks, we always answer the phone and typically are able to offer same or next-day appointments.

We accept insurance!

We accept most major insurance plans and typically offer appointments within 24 hours of your initial call. Insurance plans we accept include Blue Cross Blue Shield / Highmark, Magellan, Independence Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Keystone Health Plan East, Personal Choice, United Behavioral Health, Cigna, and Compsych.

Convenient location

We are conveniently located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, at 600 N Jackson St, Suite 300, Media, PA, 19063, and are accessible by public transportation via SEPTA Regional Rail, Trolley, and bus. We also offer ample free parking.

Call 610-808-9923 to schedule an appointment, or fill out a contact form and we’ll call you!

He’s just gotten into a screaming fight with his girlfriend. They exchanged meaningless, yet hurtful insults and she left in a tearful fit. He can feel his heart beating uncontrollably and can’t seem to stop pacing the room. Then he catches sight of his Pandora station sitting patiently on the computer screen. And with the click of a button, his favorite music station is flooding his ears. His heart begins to slow and so do his paces.

Today’s the day—the day she has her last interview for the job of her dreams. She’s had four before this and though it’s promising that she’s made it this far, there’s no way of knowing who else is in the running or if it’ll end in a victory. The nerves she’s feeling are unreal and getting in the way of her final preparations. She reaches into her pocket, pulls out her headphones, and secures them in her ears. As music fills her mind, a calmness comes over her and she can finally focus again—soon enough, she’s ready.

Overview

Have you ever found yourself, in a way, saved by music like in the above scenarios? Do you find that music helps you through certain adversities? Studies have shown that music can serve as a healing power, which has sparked a new kind of clinical therapy: music therapy.

Music therapy is an established health profession in which music is used in therapy to address a variety of needs an individual may have; these may be physical, emotional, social, or cognitive needs. After evaluating his or her patient, the therapist then decides on a specific treatment, which may include singing, dancing, creating music, and/or simply listening to music. This therapeutic musical involvement strengthens clients’ abilities and can also help certain individuals find a new, healthy way to express themselves who may have trouble doing so with words.

While music can also provide individuals with therapy or healing outside of a clinical space, here are some examples of what a certified music therapist might do:

  • Work with the elderly to reduce the effects of dementia.
  • Help hospitalized patients feel more comfortable.
  • Attempt to reduce asthma episodes in an individual.
  • Assist children with autism in improving communication capacities.
  • Help a victim regain speech after he’s suffered from a brain injury.

Fact vs. Fiction

Some are reluctant to believe in the practice and real effects of clinical music therapy or just don’t take it seriously. This isn’t surprising as the practice is fairly unconventional and still growing, but maybe separating fact from fiction will help:

Fact:

  • Music therapists must have a degree in music therapy and 1200 hours of clinical training
  • These degrees require knowledge in psychology, medicine, and music
  • Music therapy is an evidence-based health profession
  • All styles of music can be useful

Fiction:

  • Previous music experience is required to participate in any kind of music therapy
  • Only slow music is therapeutic
  • You must be musically talented for music therapy to be effective
  • Anybody can administer clinical music therapy

What Makes Music Therapeutic?

There are several key reasons music can be therapeutic for our minds and our souls, as explored by Kimberly Sena Moore, MM, NMT-F, MT-BC, a board-certified music therapist:

  1. Music is actually a core function of our brain. Our brains are taught early on to process music and research has even shown that newborn babies are able to detect different rhythmic patterns. This supports the method of using lullabies and rocking to calm baby cries and get them to sleep
  2. Our motor systems naturally match up with rhythmic beats. When we process music some of it goes straight to our motor nerves, which explains why sometimes we tap our feet or move our heads to a beat without even realizing we’re doing it.
  3. Music has a way of tapping into our emotions. It might be the music itself, or an association with the song we’re playing, but it has the power to make us feel happy, sad, angry, nostalgic.
  4. Music enhances learning. Think back to when you learned your ABC’s and 123’s. You probably learned them by memorizing a song. The structure and emotional pull of music makes it a great tool for conceptualizing new ideas and information.
  5. Music easily taps into our memories. Specific songs and rhythms have the power to bring specific places and moments flooding back to us. Music therapists often use music to stimulate their clients into recollecting memories from their past.
  6. Music provides us with a safe place. While some may prefer country to hip-hop or jazz to pop, most of us really enjoy music. It makes sense to use something that is thoroughly trusted and loved to effectively help someone whether that be socially, emotionally, or developmentally.

The Power of Music: In Conclusion

Maybe all you need to feel better is some time to relax and listen to some of your favorite songs. Or maybe you have a condition that could use a therapist’s attention. Which ever the case, music can be a powerful solution to solving small and large problems, reaching goals more easily and quickly, and living an overall happier life.

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Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 600 N Jackson St Suite 300
    Media, PA 19063

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-12AM
    Saturday:7AM-6PM
    Sunday:8AM-5PM

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