Therapeutic Listening - What is it?

So before delving right into how therapeutic listening works and just how really beneficial it is, let's first briefly discuss exactly what it is all about. Founded by Shelia Frick & Colleen Hacker, therapeutic listening basically involves the user to listen to specialized & 'designed' music via headphones that has been proved to positively activate specific aspects of the brain, specifically its nervous system -- which provides a range of cognitive and whole body benefits. It can be used by anyone of any age, but in terms of its use as professional therapy --  it is usually aimed at aiding children who have 'sensory processing dysfunction' but certainly not uncommon for adults to use it for anxiety related issues.

It "becomes a function of our whole whole body, not just he ear". Check out the video below to get an even greater concept and understanding as to what therapeutic listening is all about.

Therapeutic Listening Program & Courses

There are a number of specific therapeutic programs and courses out there, all you need to do is a quick search for a local workshop or online program and you should easily come across one in your area. They will usually list what's involved, in terms of the program set out -- such as with the industry leader 'vitalinks' the client will be provided with a therapeutic listening schedule (from a range over unique 45 different albums, all of which achieve slightly different outcomes to suit the specialized need of the client) -- being provided with therapeutic listening headphones and the music. There will also be a trained therapist  at hand that will suit the specific needs of the client for some scheduled home sessions as well.

Moreover, they will also detail what 'results' you can expect. As you may have seen in the video above, they mention an overall far 'better way of life' but specifically -- the client will be able to concentrate more intently, feel happier, benefit with better sleeping patterns and less anxiety leading to greater social interaction and more expressive language (and a whole lot more too)[1]. This is not only seen time and time again through numerous case studies (for both adults and children) and therapeutic listening reviews (you will find many reviews online about how generally everyone loved the course and the outcomes, there  really aren't many negative ones out there), but there is a fair deal of evidence to back up the perceived results as well, both short term and longer term.

Therapeutic Listening Headphones & Equipment

So in terms of what is specifically involved -- it is simply a range of CD's that have been specifically prescribed to suit each client's need and which have also been altered to allow for a greater range of frequencies than a normal CD would do. You will also have a specific set of noise cancelling headphones (usually the Sennheiser HD500A headphones, however as a casual therapeutic listener -- having tried both I much prefer the Sennheiser HD 650 pair providing a superior sound quality and are generally much more comfortable) whilst they also work on other therapy techniques e.g. touch. Obviously, sessions shouldn't be used sat in front of the television or others that greatly distract from the music at hand. 

What's the Therapeutic Listening Protocol?

It varies from client to client and course to course but the usual format is twice a day for half hour to 45 minute periods with a time gap of roughly 4 or so hours. Usually two different CDs are played in order to address differing issues. For instance, on a very general note Mozart for Modulation could be potentially aimed at improving physical movement and posture as well speaking engagement whereas Vivaldi for Modulation could aid the improvement of concentration and respiration.

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone
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They are expensive, but there is no doubt about it -- they are top quality headphones and given they are a lifetime investment and have proven to be awesome in making me generally just feel better about myself day in day out -- they have paid for themselves easily a thousand times over.

So how much does a therapeutic-listening program cost? Well it very much depends on what company, what program, what the circumstance is with your child and whether you plan on buying all the equipment so you can have it for continued home use or you continue to rent it. The only way to get an exact figure is to get in contact with a reputable company who specializes in therapeutic listening to offer you a quote for sessions and equipment rented or bought.

Hopefully you have got a better understanding on therapeutic listening but if you have any other questions or concerns then please make them in the comments just below and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.