F.I.M. Federazione Italiana Musicoterapeuti

Humanistic music therapy

Phenomenological Approach

The main requirement consists of accepting unconditionally any patient. Any attitude or behaviour has its reason of existing. The diagnosis and the reading of the anamnesis do not influence the approach of the professional. The patient, both child, teenager, adult, must be received as he is. Since the very first meeting, a story of music therapy will start, which nobody knows. The overcoming of judgement (epokè) is a way of living and relating to reality, which the professional manage to make his, through the training sessions.
As Edith Stein wrote, relating to a person means to get in touch with what one can see, feel, touch, that is relating one’s corporeity with another person’s corporeity. “The Subject of empathy [...] is us [...]. A single action, but also a single expression – a look or a smile – can offer me the possibility to fling in the core of a person”. Edith Stein On the problem of empathy ed. Studium, Rome, 1998.
We are body and everything happens inside the body (feelings, sentiments, wishes, tensions, emotional tightening which affect muscles, posture, looks, changes in the voice intonation, in gestures, movements, sudden bursts, etc). Husserl talks about Körper (physiological and anatomical body), Leib (the body that gets excited), Body Scheme (the body that puts on different positions in the world), “living linguistic body” (language is already in original contact with the thing and for this reason it can do what it does: name it), Carlo Sini Idoli della conoscenza; in Humanistic music therapy this is the Vibrant Body, the place and the moment of perceiving the surrounding world, the people and oneself.
The Vibrant Body is a useful example for man to extend himself through the building of musical instruments. Music is so much inside men ( the First Orchestra, the Vibrant Body) that it has been constantly played throughout the centuries (the history of people) and places (geography).
In music therapy, “make music” is what allows a dialogue made of movements, gestures, postures, looks, words, rhythmical order of numbers. The sound is, in its nature, a relation, because to be like this there is the world and feeling the world. PNL expresses the same idea in the sentence: “the map is not the territory”, as to indicate subjectivity, peculiarity, limitation of every feeling. The process in music therapy starts as opening towards the world, the others, the appreciation of oneself.
The patient, both child, teenager or adult, is the protagonist of his history and experiences that he will live in music therapy. Through experimenting, some internal changes will occur which characterize the efficiency of therapy.

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