Sigmund Freud first introduced psychoanalysis in the 1890s and its basic tenets are as follows:

  • A person’s development is largely determined by forgotten, or repressed events from early childhood,
  • Attitudes, thought and behaviours are influenced by irrational drives found in the unconscious,
  • Conflicts between the unconscious and conscious can manifest in neuroses, and
  • Alleviating neuroses from the unconscious mind is done so by bringing these thoughts, memories and ideas into the conscious mind.

Since the approach was first presented, things have continued to change and evolve, including different schools of thought, and different theories. Psychodynamic psychoanalysis is typically regarded as the least successful/useful form of therapy, particularly due to its founder and his theories and ideas relating to the unconscious mind. Most regard Freud and his theories as hyper-sexualized, and relying too heavily on psychosexual development, and said development as the reason for most if not all neuroses.

The nature of Psychoanalysis is to delve into a person’s psyche, to present to them what the root of the issue is. This makes it so a client who says they are feeling depressed is not given a quick fix, rather, they see what is causing those feelings and focuses on dealing with that, as to avoid the feelings reoccurring. The techniques used are as follows:

  • Anamnesis: recalling past memories and bringing them to the forefront of our minds. The patient is to remember facts, behaviours or emotions related to the occurrence of the symptoms. (By remembering the antecedent of a symptom, we may find the answer for why the symptom presented itself to begin with.)
  • Free Association: The patient is asked to lie on a couch, (in order to create a relaxing state/mood) and is asked to say anything and everything that crosses their mind, without restriction. This act of free association is to allow ourselves to avoid censure, which means we will freely speak of immoral, unethical, neurotic and narcissistic things that cross our minds. By allowing ourselves to freely speak of things, we offer the therapist a way to better understand our condition. This method does not end when the talk stops, rather, it is the therapist’s role to analyze these thoughts, and find the associations between the talk and the condition.

The act of free-association was argued by Freud to be more helpful than anamnesis in bringing thoughts and feelings from the unconscious to the conscious mind. Essentially, through free association, the client is revealing his psyche to the therapist, and his self. So what role does Mozart play in all of this? Music has been found to influence a person’s subjective emotional state (Georgi, R.V., Gobel, M and Gebhardt, S, 2010), effects neocortical structures associated with analysis and synthesis, as well as subcortical structures associated with the processing of both negative and positive stimuli, (Georgi, R.V., Gobel, M and Gebhardt, S, 2010). This supports the idea that music significantly influences mood, and understanding of that mood.

With this in mind, by way of using Mozart throughout the therapy session, then the act of free association may become much easier for the client. By activating emotions, and essentially opening the clients psyche more so than if we were to rely solely on free association, the client may feel more in tune with themselves, and may feel more open to express themselves. It may also help the client understand why they are saying what they are saying –and may be able to “come to a realization” during free association.

Why Mozart in particular? As Norman Doidge points out in his most recent book “The Brain’s Way of Healing”, Mozart’s compositions provide the most continuous sounds that are “easy on the ear,” and it motivates the emotional flow of language (Doidge, N, 2015). Further, the music used in sound therapy enhances the connection between brain areas that process positive reward and the insula, which is involved in paying attention. Music rewires the “noisy” brain, which Doidge defines as an overactive brain that fires neurons senselessly and without direction (Doidge, N, 2015). By re-wiring the brain and these neuronal connections, the brain, and the mind, are quieted and cleared in such a way that enhances clarity, focus and attention. All of which are essential for recalling repressed and unconscious emotions.

Why combine Mozart with psychoanalysis, instead of having patients listen to Mozart outside of therapy? The combination will work in such a way that the client becomes much more open to their past memories and current emotional availability, so that free association will occur with more direction than before. Further, the music will allow the client to be in a more relaxed state, which is essential in free association. Although some have found it necessary to choose one type of therapy, and argue its validity and efficacy, I believe that we should incorporate and rely on more than one form of therapy for the treatment of neurotic symptoms. If music proves therapeutic for some patients, and offers a sort of lucidity, why not pair it with a proven form of therapy, such as psychoanalysis?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References.

 

 

Blood AJ, Zatorre RJ, Bermudez P, Evans AC (1999) Emotional responses to pleasant and unpleasant music correlate with activity in paralimbic brain regions. Nature Neuroscience 2, 382-387.

 

 

Blood AJ, Zatorre RJ (2001) Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98(20), 11818-11823.

 

Brown S, Martinez MJ, Parsons LM (2004) Passive music listening spontaneously engages limbic and paralimbic systems. Neuroreport 15(13), 2033-2037.

Freud, Sigmund. (1895). Studies on Hysteria.

Griffiths TD (2003) The neural processing of complex sounds. In: Perez I, Zatorre RJ (eds.) The cognitive neuroscience of music. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, pp 168–177.

Krumhansl CL (1997) An exploratory study of musical emotion an psychophysiology. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology 51, 336-352.

McFarland RA, Kennison R (1989) Asymmetry in the relationship between finger temperature changes and emotional state in males. Biofeedback and Self Regulation 14, 281-290.

Nyklicek I, Thayer JF, van Doornen LJP (1997) Cardiorespiratory differentiation of musically-inducted emotions. Journal of Psychophysiology 11, 304-321.

Panksepp J, Bernatzky G (2002) Emotional sounds and the brain: the neuro-affective foundation of musical appreciation. Behavioural Processes 6, 133-155.

 

Schubert E (2001) Continuous measurement of self-report emotional response to music. In: Juslin PN, Sloboda AA (eds.) Music and Emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 393–414 Schubert E (2004) Modeling perceived emotion with continuous musical features. Music Perception 21(4), 561-585.

 

Sloboda JA (1991) Music structure and emotional response. Psychology of Music 19, 110-120.

 

Tramo MJ (2001) Music of the Hemispheres. Science 291, 54-56.

 

Vaitl D, Vehrs W, Sternagel S (1993) Prompts – Leitmotiv – Emotionen: Play it again, Richard Wagner. In: Birbaumer N, O ̈ hman A (eds.) The structure of emotion: psychophysiological, cognitive, and clinical aspects. Seattle: Hogrefe and Huber, pp 169–189.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s