Music Therapy in the Treatment of Depression: Implications for Individuals Recovering from Non-degenerative, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)


  • Amy Clements-Cortes Managing Editor, Music and Medicine Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Faculty of Music Academic Coordinator, Ryerson Chang School
  • Catherine Haire



Stroke is a prevalent disease, and the leading cause of disability from neurological disorder worldwide. The emotional impact a stroke may have on a person and occurrence of depression can affect their readiness to engage in rehabilitation, their functional outcomes, and their ability to reintegrate socially. Depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Music and music therapy have the potential to access and effect change concurrently in multiple domains, making it a valued method for facilitating non-pharmacological, therapeutic change while supporting a person’s emotional needs. Music therapy interventions may provide motivation for participation in rehabilitation, as well as facilitate goal acquisition in physical, psychosocial, emotional, communicative and cognitive domains. This paper explores the role of motivation, evidence of music-induced affective responding, therapeutic effects of music interventions on mood, physiological and neural correlates, social interaction, music therapy implications for individuals recovering from acquired brain injury, and future directions.

Author Biography

Catherine Haire

Catherine Haire, MMT, MEd, RP, MT-BC, MTA, NMT-Fellow is a PhD Candidate in the Music and Health Sciences Program at the University of Toronto


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