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October 2021

Music therapy in grief resolution [In Process Citation]

Journal/Book: Bull Menninger Clin. 1999; 63: 481-98.

Abstract: The multifaceted nature of grief and the enormous variation in individual clients' responses to losses make it necessary for therapists to have wide background knowledge and well-developed skills in counseling and/or psychotherapy. The author describes an innovative method of facilitating grief resolution using precomposed music that is significant to the patient after a major loss. In this method, music is of equal importance with verbal processing as part of the overall therapeutic approach. Musical improvisation is also used as a primary tool to reflect back to, and affirm for, the patient the affective content of his or her life story. This approach requires the therapist to have particular musical skills and a wide repertoire of genres and specific musical pieces, as well as intuition. Several clinical vignettes illustrate the application of this approach.

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