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Music Therapy in Brain Injury Rehabilitation

The Northeast Center for Special Care has released a document that outlines some of the benefits of music therapy session for those who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury. In the document, Rick Shoshensky talks of the many benefits that have been documented through individual participation in the process of creating music, both in a group and independently depending on one's comfort level.

For example, music is an exploratory act of self-reflection, which allows the creator to build self-confidence through artistic expression and tracking individual progression rather than focusing on the development of a final product. Furthermore, the process of creating and playing music uses the whole brain, and thus provides an avenue for strengthening and exercising neuro-pathways within the brain, a vital part of the recovery process post-accident. In the same way that peer support groups can help those suffering from a brain injury to be heard and accepted by their peers, music therapy sessions open new avenues for communication and expression that can help create a sense of belonging, better allowing one to live in the present moment. Shoshenky talks about how the process of writing and playing a song can break down walls that may have been established as a result of the brain injury by creating connection between all members of the group that serves to build a bridge between the experiences of the individual and the others sharing in the process of creation together. Creating music together is a collaborative process that embraces inclusion while still celebrating any differences that arise, as that creates a stronger process and opens up more communication. Through the process of sharing one's ideas with the group and playing the music together, a sense of community is established and a welcoming and safe atmosphere is created, which is good practice for those that find meaningful communication hard after a brain injury. Music therapy sessions can be a good first step to regaining confidence and building connections with others in creative ways. It embraces struggle as part of the healing process while also allowing for an outlet where one can be fully immersed in the experience of creating music, forgetting their troubles for even a short period of time. In this way, music therapy is an exercise in mindfulness and self-expression.

Check out the full article here, which includes a case example of a brain injury survivor, George, and his experiences with music therapy.

A reminder to all our clients that our Music Program runs every Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm. All are welcome to come try their hand at creating music in a safe and inclusive enviroment! All experience levels are welcome, whether you're a music veteran or just starting to learn an instrument, come join the fun! Get in touch with your case manager to learn more about the program.

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