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Music therapy’s role in healing clients, perpetuating social justice

Heather Rudow April 27, 2012

(Photo:Flickr/hipnshoot)

A Concordia University professor hopes to bring awareness to the field of music therapy and how it can help clients not only heal from difficult events but also unite individuals with a passion for social justice.

For more than 30 years, Sandra Curtis, a professor in Concordia’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies, has used music as a tool for deeper psychological dialogue with clients ranging from abused children and palliative care patients to female survivors of domestic violence and individuals struggling with problems in the workplaces.

In her recent article, “Music therapy and social justice: a personal journey,” Curtis discusses her experiences as a music therapist, the evolution of the field over time and the ways in which music can serve as a “rallying cry that unites individuals seeking social justice.” Using this context, she then focuses on the practice of feminist music therapy.

“This type of therapy often presents work with an explicit focus on social justice for women, children and other marginalized people,” says Curtis, “but it can also expand to address such global issues as war and the environment with a feminist understanding of their impact on marginalized people worldwide.”

Curtis will be discussing her experiences with gender and music therapy at the first international Gender, Health & Creative Arts Therapies conference being held at Concordia May 5-6.

Source: Concordia UniversityPsychCentral

Also read Counseling Today’s online exclusive, “Using a wider lens to conceptualize client problems,” for another perspective on social justice and the counseling profession.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

Follow Counseling Today on Twitter.

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