Music therapy is a field of healthcare that uses music to improve a person’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It is a form of therapy that has been around for centuries and has been proven to be effective in treating a wide range of conditions. But what theory does music therapy fall under?

Theories behind music therapy

Music therapy is based on several theories, including the following:

Psychodynamic theory: This theory is based on the idea that our emotions and behavior are influenced by unconscious thoughts and feelings. Music can help us access these thoughts and feelings, allowing us to process and work through them.

Behavioral theory: This theory focuses on the relationship between our behavior and our environment. Music can be used to reinforce positive behaviors or change negative ones.

Cognitive theory: This theory emphasizes the role of our thoughts in shaping our behavior. Music can help us change the way we think about certain situations or experiences.

Neurological theory: This theory looks at how music affects the brain and nervous system. Music can stimulate different regions of the brain, leading to changes in mood, cognition, and behavior.

The benefits of music therapy

Music therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

Anxiety and depression

Music has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression by lowering cortisol levels (a stress hormone) in the body. It can also increase levels of dopamine (a feel-good chemical) in the brain, leading to improved mood.

Pain management

Music therapy can be used to manage pain by distracting patients from their discomfort and promoting relaxation. It has been shown to be effective in reducing pain during childbirth, surgery, and other medical procedures.


Music therapy can help cancer patients cope with the emotional and physical toll of the disease. It can improve mood, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation.


Music therapy can stimulate memories and emotions in dementia patients, improving their quality of life. It can also reduce agitation and improve communication.


Music therapy can help children with autism improve their social skills and communication abilities. It can also reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.


Music therapy can help stroke patients regain motor function and improve speech. It has been shown to be effective in improving gait, balance, and coordination.

In conclusion

Music therapy is a powerful tool that can improve physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It is based on several theories, including psychodynamic theory, behavioral theory, cognitive theory, and neurological theory.

Music therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, pain management, cancer, dementia, autism, and stroke. If you or someone you know is struggling with any of these conditions, consider exploring the benefits of music therapy as part of your treatment plan.