Audio Therapy as a practice can vary in its application, although it has been established that audio plays a key roll, we then have to define what types of audio specifically are used and for what purposes. “Receptive Music Therapy” is when listening to music is utilised as a therapeutic aid with specific intent distinguished by the patient or participant. This is different to “Active Music Therapy” which is where the participant engages in a creative process of producing vocals or instrumental music (Bruscia, K, 1998).
Receptive music therapy is a very effective and suitable interventional process for treating a range of physical and mental conditions (Grocke, D, Wigram, T, 2007). Audio Therapy on a whole inherits directly from Receptive Music Therapy as the general definition is that by listening to sound and undergoing the process, the participant shall benefit in a specified way. There are three typical aspects that contribute to the formality of Receptive Music Therapy.
Firstly, Receptive Music Therapy provides the participant with musical sounds, Audio Therapy also takes from this whilst using other kinds of acoustic substance, such as spoken word and ambient noise (Kämpfe, J., Sedlmeier, P., Renkewitz, F. pp424-448).
Secondly, practitioners of Receptive Music Therapy argue that in order for it to be fully effective and have the most benefit to the participant, the presence of a therapist is necessary. The argument is based on the theory that the therapy itself emphasises the relationship between the client and the therapist, the client and the music and also between the client and therapists ability to interact with the music. That said in contrast and by distinction, audio therapy is commonly provided as a self-help style method, allowing the participant to undergo the experience purportedly without input or guidance from a third party i.e. the therapist (Bruscia, K, 1998),(Morris ,2012), (Carter pp27-39) and thirdly, whilst Receptive Music Therapy may be presented as live or recorded music, it is always formatted and provided as sound recordings (Dunn.J, 2002).
Audio Therapy is based on the hypothesis that attentively listening to sound recordings, such as music, spoken word and ambient noise, has a significant effect on thoughts and feelings, thus effecting the brains electrochemical state and the bodies physiological state. It may therefore be considered as a mind-body intervention, this definition was founded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). NCCIH defines mind-body intervention as
“Those practices that employ a variety of techniques designed to facilitate the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms”.
And include guided imagery, guided meditation and forms of meditative activity, hypnosis and hypnotherapy, prayer, as well as art therapy, music therapy, and dance therapy (Straus,S.E, 2000).