MT on Social Functioning in Mental Health

“Promotion of positive relationships and trust is often crucial in mental health treatment. Social isolation is a common symptom of schizophrenia, and improved social functioning is a common predictor of remission (Schennach et al., 2012). In clients with PTSD, connecting with others is often a primary treatment focus…  Although more research is needed, music therapy may be capable of improving overall social functioning in these populations by boosting baseline hormone levels.”

“Literature suggests that music can mediate hormones related to stress and social affiliation. These biological mechanisms help music foster a trusting client-therapist bond and minimize client stress. Furthermore, the literature implicates auditory stimuli (including speech) as a key hormonal trigger. This is particularly meaningful for music therapists planning interventions early in the therapeutic process, because it places an emphasis on music and speech in the therapeutic relationship. This interpretation might be extended to suggest that therapists should pay special attention to vocal tone, musical timbres, acoustics, word choice, and background sounds during the first few sessions with a new client. In other words, the auditory components of the client-therapist communication may be the cornerstones of trust development.”

Legge, A.W. (2015). On the neural mechanisms of music therapy in mental health care: Literature review and clinical implications. Music Therapy Perspectives, 33(2), 128-141. doi: 10.1093/mtp/miv025

Schennach, R., Riedel, M., Obermeier, M., Jäger, M., Schmauss, M., Laux, G., & Möller, H.J. (2012). Remission and recovery and their predictors in schizophrenia spectrum disorder: Results from a 1-year follow-up naturalistic trial. Psychiatric Quarterly, 83(2), 187–207.

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