Music therapy can have great effect on families with emotional neglect issues

According to a study from Denmark families with emotional neglect issues can get help from music therapy.

It´s known that music can have great effect on people, but this study shows that it helps both verbal and nonverbal communication between emotionally neglected children and their parents.

Generally music therapy involves both parents, child and a teacher, but in this Danish study they have been using interactive games. The parents and the child then took turns in following and leading each other.

Stine Jacobsen, from Aalborg University in Denmark, who heads the study, and her colleagues found 18 families with children ages 5 to 12. These families, all showing sign of emotional neglect issues, come from a residential family care center that acts as an alternative to removing children from their parents.

10 of the 18 families received music therapy and the rest received the center’s usual treatment program. It shows that the families who received music therapy found it easier to talk to and understand their children then the other group.

Both groups did get positive results. It shows that the music therapy maybe isn´t better, but certainly not less effective.

It´s not necessary to know anything about music to participate in music therapy and many families can get good results from this according to Stine Jacobsen. She recommends starting this musical bonding early.

“Singing together or singing for your infant or toddler can be a very intimate bonding activity and comes naturally for some families. The earlier you start interacting nonverbally with your child in a meaningful way the more you might see or feel the benefit.”