Creative Strategies 3: Music for Networks and Communities, Semester 1 – ST1: Psychodynamics

Psychodynamic therapy is a form of psychoanalysis that deals with the interpretation of an individual’s emotional and mental processes. It is used as a more immediate alternative to psychoanalysis, which can be quite a lengthy process, to alleviate the symptoms of negative psychological processes.

While undergoing psychodynamic therapy the client will be given a review of their thoughts, emotions, experiences and beliefs. This gives the therapist insight into their current issues and the patterns they have developed in order to cope with these issues. With this approach, clients are encouraged to alter these patterns, with the help of the therapist, and ultimately make a positive change in their lives.

An important aspect of psychodynamic therapy is accessing the unconscious. Behaviour is, according to the psychodynamic theory, influenced by the unconscious mind. Denial and repression mechanisms are often developed to ‘block’ out unpleasant thoughts and memories. By speaking openly about fears, emotions and desires, and allowing themselves to be vulnerable, the client’s feelings can be processed and defence mechanisms can be resolved.

Improvisational psychodynamic musical therapy is a non-directive approach to therapy that requires no prior musical skill to engage with. The approach works by encouraging the client to improvise and express themselves in any way they see fit. The practitioners conducting this form of therapy are highly skilled at interpreting personality traits and emotional states based on the way in which their client creates their music. A bond is built between the therapist and client that allows for deeper communication and the ability to create music together. For clients who experience anxiety, music can serve as a tool for relaxation and can provide a release of tension during more difficult sessions.

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