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January 2022

The combined use of rational emotive therapy (Ellis) and music therapy with adult psychiatric patients in a county hospital

Abstract: The purpose of this paper was to present a design for therapy which can be used in a short-term psychiatric treatment center and which can be easily adapted to treatment goals and functioning levels of clients. The monograph offers information about and applications of Rational Emotive Therapy (RET) as developed by Albert Ellis. Music therapy (MT) and its variety of approaches with adult psychiatric patients are reviewed. The use of popular music, including musical styles and lyrics, is discussed. These topics are synthesized in a RET plus MT (RET + MT) design. "RET + MT" is designed to facilitate insight into, and change of, irrational beliefs and behaviors as identified by Ellis and Harper (1975). In "RET + MT", lyrics to popular songs are used to demonstrate the process of irrational beliefs. Patients are then encouraged to compare irrational beliefs exposed in song lyrics to their own beliefs and behaviors. The patients rewrite the song lyrics to reflect rational beliefs and behaviors. Recommendations for the use of this design are made including its limitations and adaptations. A catalog of popular songs suitable for use in "RET + MT" is provided.

Note: Albert-Ellis, county-hospital.

Keyword(s): music-therapy, rational-emotive-therapy, adults, psychiatric-patient, hospitalized, popular-music.

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