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Music therapy promotes wellness and alleviates pain, and music therapists work with special groups of clients who need assistance and treatment in many different ways, depending on their condition. These groups of people are patients, people with various kinds of disabilities, and people with psychological and mental illness. Music therapy provides help for issues and diseases such as autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, pain, anger, physical disorders, developmental disability, behavior disorders, emotional disturbance, geriatric problems, mental illness, and so on.
Music therapy is recommended as a catalyst for cure, and it is used as a supplement to medication for the purpose of treating the other parts of the patient that medicine cannot access. Thus, music is the medicine in music therapy; other medicine will not be prescribed by the therapist to their clients. Western societies separate music therapy and medicine into two distinct but interrelated fields: people who are sick will generally go to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment first instead of seeking help from music therapists.
If the patients are diagnosed as needing music therapy, they will be recommended to a therapist by their doctors. Although people have their own approaches to music and they often use music to relax themselves or alleviate their pain, music therapy is not for the general public but for special groups of people in the West. Hence, music therapy is not a dominant part of the healthcare system in the West and is not familiar to the general public.
Music therapy sessions are generally conducted by one music therapist due to financial constraints. They involve a therapist and one or more clients in one-on-one or group settings. The families of the clients are permitted to observe and participate in the therapy session if requested. Music therapy services can be paid for by personal funding or insurance, or by organizational funding. Although voluntary services are possible, music therapy services are for people who are either well-off or supported by an organization that can afford the expense. In other words, music therapy services are commodities.