Music in therapy allows a sensual awareness of overlapping inner and outer spaces. This in turn allows thoughts to wander and linger over objects of interest that both contain the past and make possible the present, that are associated with amiable beginnings as well as leaving open what the future will bring. Due to these processes we do not only live once. Everything is reverberating, says Erich Fried, and continues: “and everything that I say about this echo, echoes and echoes“. This all happens within a further space, namely a social one that is able to maintain all social structures despite its fragility.
The case studies presented by the different music therapists in this volume – previously in German and now in English translation – allow the reader to take a journey through very different spaces and to engage in a process in which their own presence develops through the resonance of events. Starting from common points of reference, that is, a psychoanalytic understanding of therapy and the use of music in individual therapy with patients suffering from severe and in some cases prolonged psychiatric disorders, the authors select that form of presentation which appears best suited for the respective case by alternating between descriptions, reflections, and explanatory or deeper theoretical considerations, by retrospectively organizing the material, by structuring, summarizing, or highlighting it, and – in specific cases – by including examples in the form of sheet music for the sake of illustration.
With contributions by Jos de Backer, Maria Becker, Ingo Engelmann, Susanne Metzner, Inge Nygaard Pedersen, and Gitta Strehlow