Insight-oriented music therapy with elderly residents

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Insight-oriented music therapy with elderly residents


As approaches to therapy change, and the body of information about needs and issues of the elderly continues to develop, it is useful to consider the design and implementation of insight-oriented approaches (Wheeler, 1987) to music therapy programs with the elderly. Current issues for the elderly form a composite with past and future issues, any of which may emerge during a music therapy session. They may include, for example, unresolved experiences om the past, or anticipation of death, and/or current problems relating to health and peer loss. These issues may be interfaced and addressed using an insight-oriented music therapy approach (Wheeler, 1987). In the current approach, song-related material is developed, which is aimed at addressing issues of elderly residents and enhancing re-educative and reconstructive goals (Wheeler, 1987). Making strong use of the lsoprlnciple, song categories and outlining a paradigm of music therapy with the elderly, a typical entire session is discussed section by section and results are analysed in terms of group mood, interactions and issues. The long-term benefits of this program of music therapy with the elderly and difficulties which may arise are discussed, and recommendations for further research are suggested.

Keywords: Music therapy, elderly, song


Short, A. (1995). Insight-oriented music therapy with elderly residents. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 6, 4-18.

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Date published: July 1995