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カウンセリング@代々木上原・音楽療法・心理療法 GIM

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死と向かい合う


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I admit that my internship setting, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NY, is not an easy place for everybody to be. This place is where I feel like I am a witness to the blooming and the fading of the world. It is a sad place, and yet a place that is scented with a kind of peace and joy. In my life now I insist on the right to melancholy. It is the small treasure that lies buried under the frozen fields of morning. Anyone who has endured this winter landscape, anyone who by some miracle has survived the bone breaking blasts of the winter winds of the soul, deserves to celebrate the thaw which uncovers this treasure.

Research conducted by Russell E Hilliard (2003) shows that music therapy with cancer patients in hospice and palliative care improves patients’ quality of life significantly but does not extend the length of life. These results support the sense that I had when working with cancer patients. My work is neither to strengthen their immune systems nor to prolong their life. I care more about their relationship to their life, illness and death.


I believe that music therapy can facilitate the change of the color of the dying period so that it is not just dreary, depressing, or the dragging of time, but wherever possible, it becomes a time for growth. I hope the person warmly accepts or at least comes to know whom he is before death. Music can lead to profound expression – a summarizing of one’s life. Music fulfills the patients’ desire to collect their experiences and their wisdom in concrete form, which could make a highly individual dying process happen.


I also work toward a death that will leave the family with as little scarring as possible. The music offers families a way to create special memories and conversations during the dying process and a way to remember and grieve during bereavement. Families in the midst of suffering find music therapy as a relief, an activity to do together. It creates an emotionally natural situation, and family members are gratified. Music can initiate new conversations, and allows participants to assist one another in loving ways.
by totoatsuko | 2005-06-11 08:56 | 日々感じたこと
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音楽療法士(GIM)のつれづれ


by totoatsuko
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