How Does Music Therapy Relate to Bipolar Disorder?


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“A mental disorder is a classified as a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome that occurs and that is associated with present distress or disability or with a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom.” (Peters, 2000). Although mental disorders may have a variety of manifestations and degrees of severity, they all are characterized by persistent, abnormal patterns of problem behaviors. These clients are sometimes described as having behavior disorders or behavioral disorders. Mental illnesses and disorders traditionally have been classified into two broad categories of neuroses and psychoses. A neurosis is a mental disorder primarily characterized by anxiety. This anxiety may be experienced directly and be the main manifestation of the disorder or it may be unconsciously controlled or modified to produce other distressing symptoms. A psychosis is a more severe mental disorder that is primarily characterized by loss of contact with reality. Individuals who have psychoses have delusions, hallucinations and an impaired ability to test reality. For many, a mental disorder can hinder a person from keeping a job, family, relationships and sanity. The psychiatric problems that occur in adults are more likely to be associated with the stresses of everyday adaptation or a more chronic reaction resulting from distress over a longer period of time. What many people don’t know is that someone can in fact live a relatively normal life with the help of many therapies, such as music therapy to be specific. Continue reading

How to Overcome the Symptoms of Clinical Depression With Music Therapy


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During the years I attended psychotherapy, my therapist always had classical music playing in the waiting room. I never figured out if that was supposed to be part of my therapy or if it was playing simply to keep me entertained while I waited for my session to begin. But I do know this, that music always stirred my emotions, either positively or negatively. Think back to the last time you listened to some music. What emotion or emotions did you experience? Continue reading

Why Music Therapy is Essential for your Behavioural Intervention Team


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The Benefits of Music Therapy for Autism

A professional who specializes in autism can suggest different treatment for autistic’s that can have a significant positive effect on their behavior. One such treatment is Music therapy. Continue reading

How to Teach Children Gratitude


It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment… Naomi Williams

How was your child’s day?

Worrywart Wallace noticed that by 5:30 pm, it was already dark. He was sure his parents would make him go to bed early.

Picked-on Pamela noticed that Mrs. Clark gave her the “mean look” three times today. Mrs. Clark made her miserable every day.

Gloomy Greg noticed it was another boring day. It was snowing so badly that he couldn’t even go sledding.

But Grateful Giselle had a great day! Mother made her favorite chocolate chip cookies. It was Music Day at school, and she got to sing Thanksgiving songs. And the snow was so beautiful-a snowflake had landed on her finger, and she noticed it had six sparkly spikes.

What gets your child’s attention?

There are so many things going on, how does one’s brain decide which one to pay attention to? Psychologists would say that “attention bias”-or attention “habits” makes choosing what to focus on something we don’t even have to think about. Our habits of attention make us “specialists” in noticing whatever we are inclined to notice-whether it is the threats, the disappointments, or the fun and interesting that we encounter every day. It is not what happens that determines how our day goes, but what we notice and think about that makes or breaks a day. Life is experienced subjectively, from what happens inside, rather than what happens outside.

What kind of world do you want your child to inherit?

If you want your child to inherit a great world, teach them to pay attention to great things. Call their attention to how they enjoyed playing with their friends today, the appetizing smell of fresh cookies, or the snuggly feeling of their favorite blanket. Train them to have a sharp awareness of all the things around them that bring comfort and delight. And how even challenging times can provide pleasure through invigorating work and mental mastery. In short, teach them to pay attention to things for which they can be grateful.

How can I teach gratitude?

Karen Reivich (National Association of School Psychologists 2009) offers these ideas about how to teach your children gratitude.

1. Make a Grateful Sayings poster. Get a piece of poster board and write on top “For This I am Grateful”. Have family members (and friends and neighbors if desired) write or draw something on the poster for which they are grateful. Ask each person to initial their contribution. Hang it in a conspicuous place, and continue to add to it throughout the month. At the end of the month, take turns reading aloud what was written.

2. Keep a “Good Stuff” journal. Get a notebook or journal for your child. Every night, set aside a few minutes with your child to write down three positive events from the day. Write about what went well, what it meant to the child (and yourself); how the child and you can create circumstances enabling more good things to occur.



Katrina Holgate Miller, PhD, MFT is a free-lance medical journalist specializing in mental health.

Her professional experience has encompassed many facets of mental health care, including mental health assessment and treatment, substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse (victims and perpetrators), couples counseling, and adolescent group counseling. For the past five years, Katrina has worked with patients across the country to help them resolve their barriers to adequate and effective mental healthcare and chemical dependency/addiction treatment.

Her writing tells the stories of the patients who used their moxie to overcome their distress.


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