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Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?


Music therapy is a discipline in which Certified Music Therapists use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. Music therapists use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains. To perform such services, music therapists would conduct client assessments, develop treatment plans, implement therapy processes, and evaluate progress.


Music therapy services are used with individuals of all ages and are offered in a variety of settings including healthcare, educational, community, private practice, institutional, and corporate. The clinical practice of a certified MTA is guided by evidence-based practice (EBP): the integration of the best available research evidence; the client’s needs, values and preferences; and the expertise of the clinician.


The list below includes examples of medical conditions, living conditions and goal areas that might lead someone to accessing music therapy:


- Acquired Brain Injury               - Critical Care

- AIDS                                           - Emotional Traumas

- Developmental Disabilities      - Geriatric Care

- Hearing Impairments               - Mental Health Difficulties

- Neonatal Care                           - Obstetrics

- Oncology                                   - Pain Control

- Palliative Care                           - Personal growth

- Physical Disabilities                  - Substance Abuse

- Teens at Risk                              - Victims of Abuse

- Visual Impairments

- Speech and Language Impairment

- Autism and other Pervasive Development Disabilities


Canadian Association of Music Therapists

September 2020



Becoming a qualified music therapist

Qualified music therapists must possess a degree in music therapy and certification from a recognised certification body after fulfilling all necessary requirements before practising 

clinically and offering professional music therapy services. The majority of music therapists in Hong Kong are certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) in the United States, the Australian Music Therapy Association, the Health and Care Professions Council (HPCP) in the United Kingdom, or the Canadian Association of Music Therapists. 

Girl Playing Guitar

Music Psychotherapy

The main purpose of music psychotherapy is to improve and maintain mental health and well-being by using music and traditional talk-based therapy safely and ethically within the context of a psychotherapeutic relationship where both, the individual and the therapist, work together to bring about positive change in thinking, feeling, behaviour and social 

functioning. Individuals usually seek psychotherapy when they have thoughts, feelings, moods and behaviours that are adversely affecting their day-to-day lives, relationships and 

the ability to enjoy life.

The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music

The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM) is a music-centered, psychodynamic, and multimodal form of psychotherapy developed by Helen Bonny. Therapists trained in the Bonny Method choose classical music sequences that stimulate journeys of the imagination where feelings, memories, and insights may be generated to assist individuals in understanding life issues from a holistic perspective. Experiencing 

imagery in this way facilitates clients’ self-development process through the integration of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of well-being.


Reasons that lead individuals to seek out BMGIM sessions or other forms of guided imagery and music (GIM) experiences may include but not limited to searching for directions in life, struggling with illnesses, encountering relationship issues, exploring causes of emotional or other unconscious issues 

Creative Arts Therapy


Creative Arts Therapy is an umbrella term that includes six creative arts therapy modalities  (art therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy and psychodrama). Qualified Creative Arts Therapists use creative and expressive processes of art making in various modalities to improve and enhance the psychological and social well-being of individuals of all ages with various health conditions within the context of a therapeutic relationship. They are based on the premise that when individuals work creatively under the guidance of a qualified therapist, they become more expressive, communicative, and aware of issues that call for change. The processes generate creative energy that acts as a healing force for the mind, body, and spirit. The variety of modalities offer flexibility to meet the complex needs and preferences of each individual.

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