Music Therapy And Its Effects On Adolescents With Behavioral Issues

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Meghan Stavig
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Music Therapy and its’ Affects on Adolescents with Behavioral Issues

Music is known to elicit responses, both physiological and emotional, in people with or without special needs. There is well-documented research to put into words the complex relation between music, emotion, and physiologic arousal. This knowledge is being used in adolescent music therapy to encourage the expression of feelings as well as the engagement of social interactions. In this review I’ll first describe emotional regulation and what it means to deviate from the norm, then describe a primary candidate for music therapy intervention. I will then further explain music therapy as a practice and its’ goals to increase attention and
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Music therapy is often sought out after psychopharmacologic treatments have been unsuccessful. These situations often include working with individuals who present negative emotions, poor social interactions, low motivation, and flattened or blunted personalities (Yinger, O. S., & Gooding, L. 2014). Classifying a child with special needs may vary from country to country, but children with these characteristics along with a professional diagnosis are at an increased risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions, which require health-care related services and/or specialized institutions (Constantin 2015).

Roughly 20% of music therapists identify with working in the mental health setting; the largest subset of a single specific client population (Yinger, O. S., & Gooding, L. 2014). Although they may use different approaches in treatment options, such as cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, humanistic, or psychodynamic, this area of study shares a set of common goals. These goals include socialization, communication, self-esteem, coping skills, and stress management/reduction (Yinger, O. S., & Gooding, L. 2014). Previous research suggests that group work is the prevalent delivery model for music therapy in mental health settings. It is effective in promoting group cohesion, interaction, and emotional expression, and has shown to be
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