Music May Help Schizophrenia
by Corinna Underwood
November 3, 2006

Music therapy may help to ease the symptoms of depression, anxiety and emotional withdrawal that many sufferers of schizophrenia experience, according to Dr Mike Crawford and researchers at Imperial College London.

In their new study involving four hospitals, the team found that encouraging patients to express themselves through music seemed to improve their symptoms.

This type of treatment has only been attempted before with patients who are already fairly stable.

?This study shows that music therapy provides a way of working with people when they are acutely unwell,? Dr. Crawford said.

Music therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which the patient is encouraged to utilize music to improve interpersonal and communication skills in ways that regular dialogue is limited. Forms of music therapy generally are based around cognitive/behavioral, humanistic or psychoanalytic frameworks or a mixture of approaches. There are usually both active and receptive parts of the therapy, meaning that at times music is listened to and at other times there is the use of musical improvisation or creation.