Welcome, everybody, to the unit where we talk about the ways that music can reflect the psyche, and how that can influence our mental health. This unit is probably almost controversial. Partly, because practitioners who use music in this way, represent some very diverse schools of thought. In this MOOC, we intentionally embrace this diversity, and have sought quite distinct views so that you are supported to develop your own unique perspectives. But I would like to acknowledge that the heteronormative, or stereotypical ideas that Freud posed about sexuality are particularly contentious and have been emphatically critiqued since the early works of scholars like Karen Horney, and continuing to the present day. But with that in mind, Freud has left an enduring legacy that was groundbreaking at that time, around the turn of the century, and in that culture. Remembering that he was living in Central Europe at a time where there was no recognition of unconscious processes. Something that many of us would take for granted in this time and place. For example, Freud provided a vocabulary for us to describe how people project their bad mood on to somebody else. In other words, taking out their preexisting mood on another person, and getting mad at that other person. Similarly, the idea of dream interpretation, and the possibility that dreams have useful messages emanating from unconscious material being processed while we sleep came from Freud. In this unit, you'll hear an interview with Benedikte Scheiby who trained close to Freud's heartland during the 1970s, as well as completing placements with Mary Priestley, an influential woman in music therapy theory, who had been schooled in Freud's work. Many of those ideas are still central in some forms of music therapy practice today, particularly in Europe and South America. Indeed, New York City, where Benedikte Scheiby lives, along with Buenos Aires in Argentina, are the two cities that have repeatedly got the highest number of people in analytic psychotherapy in the world. This suggests that there are many people far from Vienna who have benefited from these insights. However, new perspectives in psychodynamic thinking have, of course, evolved along with new practices. These are described comprehensively in Jenna Kim's review article, available on The Voice's website. For example, Anthony Bateman and Peter Fonagy have coined the term metallisation to describe how we are tentative to the mental states of the people that we're with. And I'm sure we can all agree that many people would benefit from developing this capacity more in the world. Another popular explanatory concept is the existence of mirror neurons, a finding that has emerged from neuroscientific studies. And which could be seen, as providing a contemporary explanation for ideas, such as transference, and counter transference. Again, explained in Jenna's article. And in addition, relationships is a critical piece to understand when contemplating how we can appropriate the affordances of music to improve mental health. Since the safety of working with a therapist is fundamental when people are grappling with the impact of past traumas in their present life, we focus on intimate relationships in unit four. And particularly highlight the work of Daniel Stern. And then in unit five, we move to talking about broader relationships within communities. Within this unit, we've provided on location footage of psycho dynamic group work, shot at the University of Melbourne. Irvin Yalom has been a powerful influence on many music therapy group practitioners, and contributed a plethora of ideas from an existentialist perspective. He has also written a number of beautiful books, such as The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists, which illustrate how deeply therapists think about the work that they do and the nature of their relationships with clients, both individually, and in groups. But why is music helpful in the context of improving our mental health by grappling with reflections of the psyche? What is it that music offers? As we heard in Benedikte Scheiby's interview, the notion of free association has been a particularly important strategy for psychoanalysis. From this perspective, music provides a dynamic and yet blank slate on which we're able to project emotions to express and experience our feelings in music. And then, within a therapeutic context, to be able to reflect on what those feelings might be from the outside to be able to hear emotions in the music that we might not be able to acknowledge within ourselves. So you know when you're feeling a bit disgruntled, but it's unclear and nonspecific, and you can't quite tell what the feeling beneath the grumpiness is? And then, if you were to play freely on an instrument, you might find that the nature of your music would be loud and strong. And then if you were able to have a conversation about what emotions could be heard in the music with somebody who's attentive to your needs, it can actually be a really powerful technique for moving past being stuck. For reflecting what was previously unconscious. One particular use of music that's been very important when working with people using music is improvisation. Because it's such a responsive and reflective way of playing music together. When we play, it expresses who we are, as well as what we're feeling. But, it does so in a non specific way. We can't listen just someone play and know for sure what is going on. She's an extrovert, or he's depressed, it isn't that simple. But it does give us material that can be processed inwards. And this translation into words is often the focus of analytical work. In fact, Irvin Yalom suggests that until we're able to articulate what we've learned about our deeply held patterns of emotions and responses, then we haven't yet achieved the task of psychotherapy. Music therapy researchers disagree with this point, since even people who have no capacity for words are able to benefit from hearing themselves reflected in their music, and the music of the therapist. But for those who are undertaking traditional, analytic therapy, this translating from the music into the more specific nature of words can be very helpful when striving for self-understanding. So traditionally, improvisation has been the purest form of doing this expressive free projection. However, Dyadic and group improvisation in therapy requires a lot of specific training, and then ongoing supervision for the therapist. And, in fact, songs can also be a powerful vehicle for therapy. Singing them, writing them, and even performing them, as Peter Jampel has explored in his article on voices. Expressive song writing can be a way of joining words and music together for powerful effects. As can dancing, a move into music, be a powerful embodied expression of who we are in the world. And as Randi Rolvsjord describes in her podcast in this unit, it's important to work with the resources that people bring to therapy, which is often a passion or a commitment to the music that they listen to, or that they play in bands or sing in choirs. Differently to improvisation by incorporating preexisting relationships with music into processes where we work with the reflections of the psyche, it means that people are more easily able to transfer benefits back into their every day lives. Randi's more recent work has also been exploring the ways that people travel between different context with music, and how therapy can support that ongoing relationship with music beyond the therapy sessions.