Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2020, XLVIII/284: 139-142 Maximize

Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2020, XLVIII/284: 139-142

Title: Music therapy and psychotherapy as non-pharmacological methods supporting therapy in medicine – similarities and differences 

Authors: Witusik A, Sipowicz K, Podlecka M, Pietras T. 

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Music therapy and psychotherapy as non-pharmacological methods supporting therapy in medicine – similarities and differences

Witusik A1, Sipowicz K2,3, Podlecka M3, Pietras T3,4.

1The Grazyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music, Faculty of Music Creation, Interpretation, Education and Production, Chair of Music Therapy, Lodz, Poland; 2The Maria Grzegorzewska University, Department of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies, Warsawa, Poland; 3Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Department of Neuroses, Personality Disorders and Eating Disorders, Warsaw, Poland; 4Medical University, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, 1st Chair of Internal Medicine, Lodz, Poland

Non-pharmacological methods such as music therapy and psychotherapy are increasingly used in psychiatry and somatic medicine as adjuvant therapies. This trend is due to the crisis of scientific knowledge, the development of postmodern philosophy and the existential confusion of the man. Also, shifting the treatment from hospitals to the social environment of the patient creates an area and provides an opportunity for non-pharmacological methods of therapy. Unlike pharmacological therapy, the effectiveness of psychotherapy and music therapy in particular has not been extensively investigated. This is due both to the lack of financial resources to be assigned for such studies and to the impossibility to evaluate the effectiveness of these therapies using the double-blind method. The lack of strong evidence of the effectiveness of nonpharmacological therapies often results in the omission of these methods in the treatment and the risk of application of ineffective or harmful methods. Only cognitive behavioral therapy has been supported by a fairly reliable assessment of effectiveness, due to the care of the community of professionals associated with this trend for scientific evaluations. In music therapy, like in psychotherapy, we have the phenomenon of setting, transference, countertransference and resistance. In both methods, therapeutic contact is included and determines the framework duration of the therapy. The language of music therapy is much less unambiguous and yielding much more possibilities of interpretation than the language of psychotherapy. Both these areas of therapy, however, are intersecting, and it is impossible to delineate a border between them. Further research into the effectiveness of these evolving methods is all the more necessary as the growing crisis of trust in science, the lack of new effective medications and the dominance of postmodern concepts in public discourse increasingly draw attention to the environmental context of the disorders, their social nature and the possibility of therapy in the social environment of the patient away from the excessive number of medical procedures.

Key words: music therapy, psychotherapy, psychology

Pol Med J, 2020; XLVIII (284); 139–142