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October 2021

The influence of Jung's Psychology on the Therapeutic Use of Music

Journal/Book: Journal of British Music Therapy. 1987; l: Herfortshire, UK. British Society for Music Therapy/APMT 69 Avondale Avenue East Barnet EN4 8NB Hertfordshire UK. l7-2l.

Abstract: This paper explores the work of two innovative music therapists and the way in which their individual approaches relate to the theories of C. G. Jung. Firstly, the author fescribes how Margaret Tilly, a concert pianist, once gave Jung a session of passive music therapy explaining that she begins to play composed music in rapport with the patient's dominant function, and gradually evokes the inferior function's qualities also using the 'masculine' and 'feminine' aspects of music. This convinced the otherwise sceptical Jung that 'from now on music should be an essential part of every analysis'.Secondly, she examines Mary Priestley's work in which the patient improvises with the therapist to make contact with feelings and unconscious material: e.g. in dreams. The author speaks from direct experience of her analytical music therapy intertherapy training with Priestley. She quotes several passages from Jung's work to explain how this therapy accords with the need to contact the image behind the emotions, and to accept the ethical obligation presented by the dreams and the need to make concrete the experiences. She finishes with a call to musicians and therapists to be

Keyword(s): passive-music-therapy, improvisation, unconscious-materials, dreams-intertherapy.


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