Both in my NYC therapy practice and privately, I’ve always felt that music is able to express things that we have a hard time communicating to ourselves and in relationships. I’ve often personally found that lyrics written by someone else can say more emotionally than we can articulate on our own. The music we hold dear is another way we are emoting whether sadness, loss, grief, fear, trauma or safety from that trauma. Music can calm anxiety, rock us on sleepless nights or walk us through panic. It is with us through our transitions in life whether divorce, loss, birth, marriage or childhood.
While not a music therapist, I often use music in the therapy room as a way to connect, communicate and expand my conversations with people. This can take several different forms. Sometimes I’ll talk with someone about what they like listening to and then, go listen to that artist, piece or genre. Sometimes we will play music while we talk to add to the therapy environment and other times, we will take a music break in session. Sometimes we will write or sing a song together.