[PsychToday] The New “Happy”: A Protest Anthem

April 23, 2014
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Although I initially liked the song, my feelings about Pharrell William’s Oscar-nominated hit “Happy” had been moving towards how I feel about the 1990s version of “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” So over-played that I immediately felt drawn to change the radio station once I heard the opening notes.
But I recently read an article [...]

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Musings on Music and Science

April 16, 2014
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I love quick-and-dirty resources that provide valuable information in an accessible format. In that spirit, I want to share this great resource recently published by the music therapy team at Neurorhythm Music Therapy. Their interactive map of the brain provides brief overviews of music’s effect on different parts of the brain with a click of [...]

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Musings on the State of Music Therapy Research: Strengths, Challenges, and Future Directions

March 18, 2014
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Earlier this month I invited Dr. Michael Anestis, a clinical psychologist and researcher, to share his perspectives on music therapy research. By his own admission, his area of focus is mental health research—which omits the medical, rehabilitation, developmental, wellness, and preventive areas of focus in music therapy research—but I felt he had fair and valid [...]

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Mommy Mondays: Why the Word “Good” is Bad

March 17, 2014
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I think it’s time I removed the word “good” from my parenting vocabulary.
As a therapist you learn not to use the word “good” to reinforce a client’s behavior or action as that suggests there is a “bad” way to act or behave. So why don’t I apply that same principle to parenting? Just the other day [...]

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[Guest Post] The Importance of Testing Treatments for Mental Illness Before we Sell Them

March 13, 2014
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I read an interesting exchange on a Facebook feed recently between this author, clinical psychologist and researcher Dr. Michael Anestis, and some of my music therapy friends and colleagues about the perceived state of music therapy research. The exchange, though unresolved, was enticing enough that I reached out to Michael and invited him to share [...]

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Comments on “Using” vs “Working In” Music

March 6, 2014
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I’ve been percolating on the ideas presented by Dr. John Carpente in a blog post he wrote this week in which he explores the concept of music being “used” in therapy as opposed to music being “worked in” in therapy. It’s not a new conversation—I usually read about the music AS versus music IN therapy [...]

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[PsychToday] Music Therapy for our Soldiers

February 27, 2014
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My first non-familial encounter with veterans was as a soon-to-be sophomore in college, two days shy of moving to Iowa City as a transfer student and new music therapy major. I had just learned about music therapy and had spent the past month turning my life upside-down to transfer to the University of Iowa to [...]

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[Guest Post] Emerging Research: Music Therapy and Disorders of Consciousness

February 17, 2014
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I first met Julian O’Kelly at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition conference in Toronto last August. Julian is a man of many talents—music therapist, clinician, researcher, PhD student, speaker, and professional pianist. It was through circustance that we ended up co-presenting with our respective PhD mentors at the SMPC conference, but it turned [...]

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Mommy Mondays: The Kids Are Okay

February 10, 2014
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I think the kids are doing okay. After six months apart from Daddy, a major move in the middle of the school year, and transitions to new schools, new teachers, and new friends in a new (and big) city where the majority of people speak a new (to them) language…the kids seem to be handling [...]

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