A-Z List


Suicide

Annotated Journals

Hanser, Suzanne B. “Music Therapy and Stress Reduction Research.” Journal of Music Therapy, Vol. 22, Number 4, Winter 1985.

This article states that even though some stress may have a positive effect leading to motivation, excess stress can cause major damage. Stress could be the biggest factor that leads people to commit suicide. Experts have estimated that up to 75 percent of all medical disorders can be directly related to stress. Stress and anxiety are defined as a stimulus that can end up exhausting the body’s defense mechanisms. Music Therapy creates a controlled environment where stress can be isolated out of the patient’s life for a while and can further more help relax and shift moods of attitude and produce changes in muscle tones, heart rates and blood pressure and gastric motility. This is usually done through such activities as listening to relaxing or sedative music.


Stratton, Valerie N. and Zalanowski, Annette H. “The Relationship Between Characteristic Moods and Most Commonly Listened to Types of Music.” Journal of Music Therapy, Vol. 34, Number 2, Summer 1997.

This article describes the effects of certain types of music on different people. In one study by Hansen and Hansen, one group of subjects were exposed to different types of heavy metal and rap music and another group was exposed to different types of country and easy listening music. After 21 days of exposure it was found that those who were exposed to the heavy metal and rap were much more aggressive and showed more inappropriate behavior and self-abusiveness. Another study showed that there was a positive correlation between the suicide rate and subscriptions to heavy metal magazines. It also stated that the “metal” culture tends to nurture the suicidal tendencies of youths in America. There are also negative aspects related to country music and negative country music lyrics; however, these have never fully been analyzed in a suicidal tendency type of case.

Gowensmith, William Neil and Bloom, Larry J. “The Effects of Heavy Metal Music on Arousal and Anger.” Journal of Music Therapy, Vol. 34, Number 1, Spring 1997

This article shows how much that heavy metal rock bands have been known to influence adolescents in violent and depressive manners. There are many critics to this type of music and claims that heavy metal encompasses themes of aggression, anger, rebellion, violence, suicide, drugs, sex, Satanism, hopelessness, and antisocial behavior. Heavy metal songs have even been accused of being the “cause” of some suicides. These many documented studies of heavy metal music have been found to be inconsistent in their billings. Most of the research has been qualitative and correlational. These experiments have failed to measure the amount of aggression, anger, arousal, and to define and take into consideration intervening variables, and therefore are inconsistent and methodologically unsound.

Luetje, Virginia M. “Music Therapy in Crisis Intervention.” Perspectives, Vol. 7, 1997.

When dealing with a patient during active crisis intervention, it should be noted that the mind of the patient will begin to feel hopeless. Feelings of depression, sadness, and bitterness most likely will occur. A general notion for the patients is to question the idea of even trying to fix their problems, and then they may begin having suicidal thoughts.  These areas need to be acknowledged immediately in order to help these patients deal with their problems.  We should help the clients by trying to get them to take risks and try new methods for coping with their problems.   We can use methods of role-play, music activity, and movement to music to help ease their mind and reduce the stress.  Lyric analysis and song writing can benefit the patient cognitively and emotionally.

Crowly, William J. and Rubin, Beverly. “Clinical Considerations of Visual Distortion of Musical Notation.” Journal of Music Therapy, Vol. 3, Number 3, September 1966.

A patient named Diane became suicidal after the death of her grandmother and the birth of her stepbrother, whose mother her father had just remarried. She was approximately 12 years old. She tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of aspirin. She was found and placed in a hospital immediately afterward. She was there for six weeks. After she was discharged, she had three more hospitalizations for more attempted suicides. It was then noted that she began to work with a music therapist, and she regularly was playing the piano. She had played the piano before and now was becoming quite proficient. While continuing throughout the sessions, Diane listened to pieces of music and made such remarks as, “that was beautiful” or “how wonderful.” It seems that Diane found something about life that really interested her and could help her feel good about herself and her surroundings, and that was the music.

Taylor, Dale. “Expressive Emphasis in the Treatment of Intropunitive Behavior.” Journal of Music Therapy, Vol. 6, Number 2, Summer 1969.

A young girl who was a suicidal patient in a group home for teens had been found trying to slit her wrists on more than one occasion. She was totally unresponsive to everyone unless it was to talk about her own worthlessness. She would not even retaliate when other girls put her down, and she tried very hard not to show any emotion. She was then referred to a singing instructor. Initially she was unwilling to participate, but then she became interested in improving her own voice and learning the correct way to sing. She even began to choose her own songs that she wanted to sing. The therapist taught her how to express herself, and after this was learned, a vast improvement in the areas of interactions with others was noted.

Aigen, Kenneth. “The Voice of the Forest: A Conception of Music for Music Therapy.” Music Therapy, Vol. 10, Number 1, 1991.

This article describes the connection between the roots of creation (of life) and creativity. It says that it is no coincidence that these two words have the same root. Very simply to embrace creation, and hence creative activity, is to embrace life. All creative acts have as their archetype the creation of the world and our presence in it. This is obviously not realized in patients who have suicidal tendencies. Engagement in creative activity, particularly music, is therapeutic because it provides both access to and a field for the development of the individual's capacity for embracing creation and, hence, life itself.

Nolan, Paul. “Guided Imagery and Music in a Forensic Psychiatric Setting.” Music Therapy, Vol. 3, Number 1, 1989.

The importance of music therapy and other art or movement therapies became clear following the realization that strictly verbal therapy has a limited value to the patient. In dealing with suicidal patients, this article supports this type of structure: supportive
music therapy group, followed by insight-oriented guided imagery and music. Music is an essential part of all suicidal therapies.

Forinash, Michelle. “A Phenomenological Perspective of Music Therapy.” Music Therapy, Vol. 8, Number 1 1989.

This is an article about a session involving a terminally ill patient named Sara. Sara had an alcoholic for a husband and two children, a boy and a girl who was autistic. Later, her husband committed suicide. She was in her last days, close to death at the hospice and did not know what to do about her children. She was admitted to music therapy on what would probably be the last day of her life. Two music therapists came in to help her with the death experience. Sara was holding on to her life because she was not ready to die. When music was introduced to the hospital scene where Sara was dying, a very intense bond was built between the therapists and the patient. Sara had short hard breaths when the therapists arrived, and as they played Sara’s breaths became much slower and easier, Sara was dying, but was now, through the connection of music, more relaxed and ready to die in a more peaceful manner.

Frisch, Andrea. “Symbol and Structure: Music Therapy for the Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient.” Music Therapy, Vol. 9, Number 1, 1990.

An eighteen-year-old male was admitted into a music therapy session after recovering from a suicide attempt. He really likes to play the drums, but representative of his personality, he played them with no structure. He was able to keep a beat on his own but could not vary it very well. He began to like to perform in front of his peers and to compose his own music. Learning how to apply some structure through playing the drums and allowing himself to be controlled by the music therapists helped him achieve some structure and control in his own personality and attitude.

Michael, Donald E. and Madsen, Clifford K. “Examples of Research in Music Therapy as a Function of Undergraduate Education.” Journal of Music Therapy, Vol. 6, Number 1, Spring 1969.

A 20-year-old female had been in a wheelchair for 4 years resulting from a traumatic head injury.  She was not like the average person with retardation, regarding her behavioral and physical reactions.  She threatened all those around her in the hospital, saying she would vomit, urinate, and slit her wrists.  Physically, she continually had seizures and had very limited movement of her hands and fingers.   She was asked what types of music she liked and said she enjoyed group music and folk dancing.  Sessions then began (15 over a 3 week period) where group music and dance were taught.  The percentage of her deviant acts steadily declined with each succeeding week.  She continued the use of the music application and it helped calm her down and made her happier in the hospital.

Fredrickson, William E. “The Effect of Information on Eighth Grade Students’ Recognition of Music Therapy as a Career.” Perspectives, Vol. 14, Issue 2, 1996.

This article discuses how Music Therapy as a career is not that well known to America’s youth. Only 37 percent of students in America’s high schools had heard of Music Therapy as a career choice. Most high school musicians go into a major of music performance or music education. Most students select majors that end up having nothing to do with their career. This article promotes Music Therapy as a career choice that can enable one to help many people in a very unique way.

Hong, Minhwa, Hussey, David, and Heng. Melissa. “Music Therapy with Children with Severe Emotional Disturbances in a Residential Treatment Setting.” Perspectives, Vol. 16, Issue 2, 1998.

This article shows how  Music Therapy activities such as lyric analysis, song singing, writing, and playing instruments can help children in troubled households from a very early age. Music offers an experiential place where a child can go to in order to deal with expressions and hardships in life and make them easier to deal with. A lot of children can live a better life if music is introduced to them at early stages in their lives. We should try to give our children this opportunity as early and as best that we can.

Metzger, Lois Kay. “The Selection of Music for Therapeutic Use with Adolescents and Young Adults in a Psychiatric Facility.” Perspectives, Vol. 3, 1986.

Some types of music can easily influence adolescents. When dealing with these types of patients only certain types of music should be admitted into the session. Music will be placed into certain categories of usefulness including leisure time, therapeutic sessions, and types of music that should omitted from clinical help sessions. Songs that employ lyrics advocating suicide, violence, or sexual content need to be explored. We have to analyze the message of the song. The patient’s mind set and well-being should also remain a primary consideration.

Brooks, Darlene M. “Music Therapy Enhances Treatment with Adolescents.” Perspectives, Vol. 6, 1989.

Music therapy is the preferred treatment method in helping adolescents improve their interaction skills with peers. This article states that sexual acting out is a rebellion against their parents. Music and movement are excellent techniques to be employed when this behavior is pronounced. Suicide attempts, anger, withdrawal from family, social isolation from peers, aggressive behavior, school failure, running away, alcohol and/or drug abuse need to be targeted via preventive programs. Music Therapy has repeatedly been found to be the best method to do that.