• Rita Østergaard Pedersen
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)

This thesis concerns a hermeneutic theoretically examination of how to calm clients resistance against psychodynamic vocalization in music therapy. I examine if breathwork is a possible approach to gain trust and diminish the resistance in voicing the psychological Self. The main question of the thesis is:

“How can breath- and voice work create confidence in adapting of the psychological Self and at the same time diminish the resistance against vocalization in music therapy?”

To explore the subject I describe basic elements from ‘The Attachment Theory’ and ‘Secure Base- Environment’ by Bowlby, connecting his assumptions with the hypothesis of the behavioural development of ‘The Sense of Core Self’ by Stern. Both theorists emphasize the importance of developing a trustful connection to primary care person in infanthood as a base for later healthy ability to participate in life, in social engagement. Ruud put emphasis on how childhood memory of song and music most likely is vital for development of identity, of development of Self. Through ‘The Polyvagal Theory’ by Porges, I describe how breathing possibly is able to calm the parasympathetic nervous system into a state of ‘immobilization without fear’, a state of being that enables social and trustful engagement. Calming the parasympathetic nervous system through breath work seems to promote less resistance against social engagement and therefore also less resistance against vocalization in music therapy. Next I describe how two experienced music therapists, Austin and Storm, apply breath- and voice work in vivo. They both suggest that through breath- and voice work clients can diminish the resistance to vocalizing and in that way establish a ‘bridge’ to the psychological Self. Through the use of breath work clients obtain the ability to vocalize and can be capable in expressing the contents of Self in music therapy. The thesis conclude that the conscious use of breath work in music therapy enhances establishment of trust in the client and thereby adaptation of the psychological Self. Breathwork is a basic tool to approach the resistance to vocalization and the ability to vocalize in music therapy.

Publication date29 Jul 2010
Number of pages95
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 34964434