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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Finding a vocal path through depression
by Magnis, Elizabeth Shannon, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2011, 74; 3528241
Abstract (Summary)

This study offers a quantitative description of the therapeutic value of a six session vocal workshop conducted at an outpatient drug rehabilitation program with adolescents, ages 12 to 18 at the time of study, suffering from depression. The workshop consisted primarily of singing, songwriting, chanting, body percussion, vocal sounding, and vocal improvisation. Based upon recent advancements in neuroscience, this workshop was designed primarily as a right-brain, body-based vocal intervention designed to explore a primary form of symbolization: vocal sounding.

The right hemisphere of the brain is dominant for the recognition of emotions, the expression of spontaneous and intense emotions, and the nonverbal communication of emotions (Schore, 2009). Expression of emotion through the voice comes not from words and semantics, which convey content, but from tone and timbre, which convey emotion (Besson, Faita, Peretz, Bonnel, & Requin, 1998). Although music is believed to be processed in the right hemisphere of the brain, it is believed to also excite the left hemisphere brain regions involved in understanding and producing language, including Broca's area and Wernicke's area.

Specifically, data regarding the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) scores (Measurement Group, n.d.; Radloff, 1977) of 15 adolescents, 11 from the treatment group and 4 from the control group, were analyzed pre- and post-vocal workshop. The mean changes in CES-DC depression scores in the treatment group were significantly less than that of the control group therefore the study yielded positive results. Results are consistent with previous research findings indicating a positive correlation between music therapy and depression, and contribute to a growing body of research specific to the therapeutic use of the human voice.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Peterson, Christine
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Experimental psychology
Keywords: Depression, Music therapy, Singing therapy, Voice therapy
Publication Number: 3528241
ISBN: 978-1-267-58620-9
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