“In this department music therapy is just as important in moments like death, or during the final stages of the disease, as it is when a patient is first hospitalized and during the various stages of the clinical treatment.”
One day the Head Physician of our department said this phrase and it immediately made us reflect about our project.
became clear to us that we did not want it to be limited to a certain period, but that we wanted to accompany the patients for the entire duration of their therapy. This approach has allowed us to analyze and learn about the functions of the disease and to monitor every one of its phases.
With this approach in mind we plan our sessions carefully, always trying to eliminate or decrease the feeling of precariousness in the young cancer patient. In fact, we believe that it is very important to create a feeling of normality and stability in the life of these children.
Music Therapy techniques and approaches are founded in a variety of well established models and approaches, which allow the patient to deal with the personality changes and the strong emotional impact of the disease.
In order to accomplish his goal, the music therapist uses all the skills he has, even if they are not strictly music therapy techniques, such as music education in a broader sense.
This leads to the formation of a strong relationship between patient and therapist, which accompanies both until the end of the clinical treatment, regardless of what the outcome is.
This well structured approach has given us the opportunity to reflect on different aspects such as:
– The setting (length of the session, number of sessions)
– The necessity of verbalization
– The contribution of a co therapist
– The maximum flexibility and adaptation to personal needs of the treatment (based on the individuality of the patient, as well as the particular moment he is experiencing).
– The flexible use of musical instruments.
Undoubtedly, this requires the music therapist to develop specific skills such as flexibility and the capacity to enter a the world of children and adolescents and his capability to be resilient.