Application of Music therapy and Psychodrama Essay

Published: 2019-11-13 04:40:49
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With the blooming economic growth and remarkable improvement of peoples living standard, we focus on balancing physical well-being and emotional health in our daily life. Active research and the practice of improving mental health have become one of the most studied areas of science in the 20th century. Complimentary therapies have become more established during this time to supplement the Doctors Prescription pad. Combined with the lack of prior education in musical therapy, recipients can access this form of treatment without barrier because of the innate capacity for humans to appreciate musical form and the profoundness with which we all regard music.

This form of therapeutic treatment therefore transcends traditional forms of medical treatment such as paediatrics and adult health as all age groups seem to take part in the musical experience irrespective of gender, ethnicity etc., which has elsewhere in medicine been attributed some special status such as the requirement in paediatrics for twice the capacity in dealing with minority groups not exceeding one-third of the populace. Looking at all therapies around us, Music Therapy comes in different methods and approaches. Music is a language of its own; it is an alternation form of expression that is different to everyday verbal language communication. There are different definitions of Music Therapy due to different research types carried out in each country.

In a definition given by the American Music Therapy Association, 2005, Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. Professor K. Bruscia defined music therapy as A systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to achieve health, using musical experiences and the relationships that develop through them as dynamic forces of change. In my understanding of broadening this definition, Music therapy is a systematic therapy treatment program of applying music or music related experience to promote physical and mental health. Any therapy that planned to apply music as a tool, in order to achieve the purpose of promoting human physical and mental wellbeing, should belong to scope of music therapy.

Psychodrama, which was developed by J. L. Moreno, is used as a form of psychotherapy. Psychodrama is an action method, participants use dramatization, role playing and dramatic self-presentation, which often includes elements of theater and uses props on a stage, to recreate real-life situation, acting them out in the present. This can also be seen as psychodramatic enactment. Participants have the opportunity to evaluate their behavior and understand better a particular situation in their lives or common experiences in life in general. Moreno encourages participants expressing their underlying needs in role playing, and thereby neutralizing their compelling influence and tendencies.

Clients can use non verbal expression e.g. musical instruments, for their emotion and feeling, which helps naturally healing by this process. Music and Drama are connected historically and have strong affection on each other in many aspects. The same theatrical forms of plays and opera will have the same healing effect. They all support the development of spontaneity and uninhibited expression of emotions and feelings. Its unusual to see the combination of music therapy and psychodrama together until the advent of this book: Acting Your Inner Music: Music Therapy and Psychodrama by Joseph J. Moreno.

The method that is used in this book is defined as music psychodrama, is a particular complementary therapy. The complementary therapy integrates music and psychodrama for participants adequately exchange between music and verbal language, to complement expression of emotion and feeling. The ensemble of music improvisation, creation, using treatments from music therapy, together with traditional psychodramatic therapy, psychodramatic enactment, is a comprehensive treatment which shows better therapeutic effect than any single treatment of the two. The Complementary therapies, which is a term used to describe therapy that combines both music therapy and psychodrama together concomitantly.

The complementary therapy requires participants in groups to express their emotion by communicating effectively with both music and language. Participants dont need to have any musical background; neither needs to know how to play any musical instruments. In another words, anyone who wants to take part in this therapy are welcome to take part in, despite age, gender, occupation and education of participants. The Musical presentation of human emotion can be expressed quite well. This brings out a new and unique treatment effect in complementary therapy. The core of music psychodrama is a psycho-dramatic musical improvisation ensemble.

Its a way of experiencing what happened and how individuals reacted to the given situation and ambient experience of music in combination with an acting format. In order for participants to let go of themselves and enable each individual to freely express their emotion and feeling, the following stages are operated by a psychodrama director or a psychotherapist with musical background: Musical improvisation serve as warm ups; Action, Individual and group improvisation and psychodrama; collectively combined constitute a common access point to Sharing. Its important to note that interpersonal relationships between client and therapist, or psychodrama director remain strong during the whole process; music selected for the therapy is not for leisure proposes.

Therefore the director needs to have a musical background and have professional understanding of music. Director also needs to have intensive training and be familiar with the therapeutic processes, as well as build up close relationship with participants. The room that psychodrama and music therapy is taking place should be quiet and comfortable for all participants to be in and enjoy. Children should not be put into a group of adult participants, babies should not be allowed in the room. If a child cries during the therapy, the sound of crying may tune with high pitch together with the therapeutic music. This could results unnecessary tension and upset and bought to participants, having negative emotions.

* Warm ups

A group of five or five participants are formed either by volunteering or selected by a Director. Each individual is asked to select a musical instrument and then to play a solo improvisation on their instrument, expressing their feeling at the moment or overall life situation. All solo improvisation is recorded and played back for participants to discuss and analyse. This is an effective projective technique. Emotions and personalities of individuals can be simply revealed by sounds projected through the instrumentation. Group music improvisation is another technique that helps the warm up of musical psychodrama.

The principle is similar to individual improvisation. But this technique would emphasize emotions of members towards others in the group. During the orchestrated performance by phychodrama director or a musical therapiest, group members would emphasize their intragroup communication, responsiveness and rapport building of each member.

For example, some would be the person who takes the leads in the group; some would be supporting and coordinating the group; some would immerse in their own performance; therapist can observe individual reactions to the others real behaviour rather than merely listen to verbal description by them. Involvement in and exposure to these experiences would help participants emerging musical imagery and emotional expression to the next stage of therapy, the musical psychodrama.

* Action

Protagonist selection of psychodrama is complete by discussion and identification of distinctive sounds of their instruments. During the action of psychodrama on the stage, protagonists need to move from one character to another character by swapping their situations, which means move himself into another persons situation, and learn and action to the other persons mind. The protagonist is living in another persons life. When verbal expression is not clear enough to express by the protagonist, music or instrument can be selected by participants to better express their feelings. For example, participant may select a drum, which is a very powerful and dynamic instrument. The participant can play the drum in a very dominant and aggressive manner; it would easily affect the group feeling and continuously move the whole group to a stronger sharp and dynamic level.

This might also create conflict between group members. The other group members may also use their instruments to change the aggressive behaviour of this participant with drum. In normal verbal communication, people who are involved in the communication also move with rhythmic synchronicity with speaker. If someone wants to pass their opposite opinion or thoughts to a listener in a soft, slow and gentle tone, listener will tend to be easier to accept their opposite idea than someone speak in a fast and commanding voice. Music has the same effect on people in affecting peoples emotion and feelings.

By playing soft and sad music, this music is responsiveness to the drum player. Every nuance gives a continue reaction to drum players feeling. The drum player would be able to verbalise the different feelings, the subliminally hearing helps him to fell and benefit from the group support that the music which is played by other members of the group. Music psychodrama can be seen as a real life. The protagonist will be in different relationships and situations, for example, accepting a death from a beloved one, or giving up part of his life. It takes great courage to release part of ego. Communication through music in the improvisation may sometimes work better and more effectively than verbal communication.

Musical mirroring is an auxiliary technique to mirror the progatonists behaviour or style of interaction by a selection of an appropriate musical instrument and improvise musical statement. The advantage of musical mirroring over verbal mirroring is helping it portray the protagonists essential behaviour without being mired in words. Musical modelling is a technique that suggests and influences the protagonists action, behave and interact through improvisational statements. The advantages are similar Musical Mirroring. Break-in and Break-out techniques are very special techniques in psychodrama. They can be very strong and effective approaches in the session for break through barriers that a protagonist holds him back in a real life situation.

Break-in, protagonist may feel him being excluded from a group, feeling from outside of a group and looking in; Break-out is the reversed situation. In both these two situations, the protagonist needs to find the initiative to break the inner barriers and reconnect to the outside. Group members will surround the protagonist in a circle with locked arms; sometimes, depending on individual circumstance of protagonist, the group members will verbally taunt the protagonist and playing intensive nervous music; protagonist needs to fight his way out of this circle and break this barrier.

* Sharing

Sharing is an essential component in psychodrama. After the psychodrama enactment, all group members will be encouraged by director to share the feelings, thoughts in the experience both verbally and non-verbally. All members will be reassembling face to face in a circle. The purpose of this sharing is not only to help the protagonist feel less isolated; but also help the group member to find out their identification and share these identifications. Sharing in psychodrama enable the unconsciousness deep under in ones mind to become conscious, enable all participants to find the fundamental problems in themselves.

Protagonists in music psychodrama, just like performance in other types of drama, need to be engrossed and throw themselves into the performance. There are many issues that would affect the performance. For example, participants need to be in a quiet and comfortable room for all activities. They will not be disturbed by others outside the room. Its also very important to build up confidence and trust between participants and director. The soul in musical psychodrama is the music that is selected for improvisation for participants. The director must be someone who has musical background and have well understanding of psychology.

During the musical expression on stage, people who have no musical education normally do better than those who have been studied music for a long time. People who study music are more emotional and have more susceptibilities. They know how to technically control musical instruments and vocal, as well as rhythm sensation and volume. This is a limitation of applying musical psychodrama for musicians and musical students. How to use these musical techniques on these people is a subject that we can study. Certain music expression can be conveyed by the elements of music, for example, dynamic indications, differing qualities of touch and articulation, colour, intensity, energy and excitement, etc, through performance.

Director needs to have certain level of appreciation of music in order to distinguish the content conveyed by participants. During the sharing, director and all participants will obtain different level of understanding. These are due to individual differences by culture, education, age, religion and life experiences. These differences would still contribute and help participants to express their emotions freely. Both music therapy and psychodrama are therapeutic approaches for participants to active their own treatment.

The participants, who can be with or without prior music background and knowledge, use music, music instruments or any alternative to verbal expression, improvising their emotions and feelings in interaction with auxiliaries. Some members of the group in these involvements might be less activated with little response to surroundings. These silent participants are also absorbing and learning from the therapy in different levels, reflecting in a inner-action that also help with improving the pshchological status of participants.

Music psychodrama in Mainland China

Psychodrama and Music Therapy were introduced in Mainland China in the 80s. The standard of the knowledge, skills, professionalism and application of music therapy and musical psychodrama are far from the standards of similar researches and studies in these subjects. Both forms of practices are still in the initial stage. For example, in the mid 80s, someone used the term Music Therapy in a clinic in Hunan Province and claimed that Music Therapy can treat many diseases. The so called Therapist only played some soft music for patients and used music as a medicine for treatment.

This was totally misunderstood at the time due to lack of knowledge in this new psychotherapy. During 1985-1986, Beijing Anding Hospital and Beijing Hui Longguan hospital started researchs on Music therapy treatments for chronic mental disorders, Music therapy for senile melancholia; combined therapies for chronic psychosis disorders. China Association for Music Therapy was formed in 1989. In 1991, Music performance personnel stage nervous correctional and training research was produced by Zhang Hongyi. In 1999, China Conservatory of Music formed Music therapy centre for research and development in this subject.

More people started to study and research for music therapy in China recent years. Music Therapy In Treatment Of The Cancer Patients is published in Chinese Mental Health Journal in 2001; Mood and Cognition in Music Therapy is a book that was published by Wu Ji-Hong and Wan Ying in 2006. Music Therapy is growing and being more and more recognised in China in recent years. Main obstacles for developments of Music Therapy in China are listed as followings: poor quality on academic researches and studies, knowledge and skills of this psychotherapy fall behind western countries; the value of academic in researches and publishes dont have the standard compare to countries like American and the UK; there are not official publisher that focus in this subject; there are no professional bodies to evaluate and assess music therapists, neither any regulation nor laws to protect patients; lack of public awareness. Psychodrama or combination of Music and Psychodrama are less common in China.

People are not aware of this term and what it is involves. A small number of researches were carried out in schools and education. On School Psychodrama was published by Chen Xiaomei in Journal of Fujian Commercial College in 2006. Schools can be selected as operational bases for more researches and studied to carry out for psychodrama. Students will also benefit from different activities carried out by psychotherapist and receive good mental health education. In a research programme that was carry out in a university, 300 students were randomly selected for a mental health test. The result shows that 61 students have various degrees of psychological problems, which equals to 20.61% of candidates.

The majority problems are caused by stresses come from studies, worries of employment, interpersonal relationships. This research provides a good breakthrough of applying music therapy for people of who can benefit. Localisation of Music therapy in China is the first step of development of music therapy and musical psychodrama. To develop this, musicians and therapists need to adapt to the Chinese culture and the Chinese social. A serial of arrangement need to be carried out for this localisation procedure: in an academic point of view, meetings and conferences for music therapists, psychologists, musicians, and other relevant specialists to meet up, set up a proper research area for music therapy, either as an academic discipline or therapeutic treatment.

Researches then carried out to categorize music therapy to more detailed branches and select those can be better adapt in China; at the same time, establish and set up institution for this practise. Set up exams and assessment to select people who have musical and psychological expertise to become music therapists. Set up music therapy centres and clinics in hospitals and schools for people who want to participate in the theory. Establish database and update the information for people who are interested in this field.

There are currently very few workshop and activity group in Mainland China. But there are some music therapy associations and workshops in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Music Therapy Association of Taiwan is formed in 1996. In 2012, GaoXiong hospitals approved to use music therapy as a form of clinical alternation treatment for patients. Hong Kong Music Therapy Centre was formed in 2008.

The centre was operated by Ms Mak, an Association of Professional Music Therapists as well as qualification from Academy for Neurologic Music Therapy Academy. Shes the first music therapist in Hong Kong. Many lecturers and workshops are being held in the centre for a range of different attendants, especially youth in Hong Kong. Mainland China should learn and try to implement the development of music therapy in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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