Psychotherapeutically Oriented Vibroacoustic Therapy for Functional Neurological Disorder: A Pilot Study


  • Mikaela Leandertz University of Jyväskylä
  • Jussi Joukainen Central Finland Health Care District
  • Tuula Pesonen Central Finland Health Care District
  • Esa Ala-Ruona University of Jyväskylä



Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) affects a significant number of people worldwide. Previously referred to as conversion disorder, FND is a disorder of the communication between mind and body resulting in the experience of neurological symptoms incompatible with neurological or medical diagnoses. FND patients account for a notable portion of neurologists' patients, and yet these patients are still considered some of the most difficult to diagnose and treat. This pilot case study utilized a psychotherapeutically oriented approach to vibroacoustic therapy and active music therapy methodology in the therapy process of a patient diagnosed with FND. The treatment protocol used in this study highlights an interdisciplinary, multimodal, and diverse approach to referral and treatment for FND patients. Review of the qualitative data together with the quantitative outcomes of the study provided a comprehensive conceptualization of this case. Valuable perspectives were gained from this approach, and the clinical findings were well supported by the quantitative outcome measures.

Author Biographies

Mikaela Leandertz, University of Jyväskylä

Mikaela Leandertz, MA, MTA, MT-BC is a certified music therapist from Canada, and doctoral student of music therapy at the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.

Jussi Joukainen, Central Finland Health Care District

Jussi Joukainen, MD, is a consultant at the Department of Neurology, Central Finland Health Care District, Finland.

Tuula Pesonen, Central Finland Health Care District

Tuula Pesonen, MD, PhD, is a senior consultant of the Outpatient Clinic of Consultation-Liason Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry, Central Finland Health Care District, Finland.

Esa Ala-Ruona, University of Jyväskylä

Esa Ala-Ruona, PhD, is a music therapist, psychotherapist (advanced level of competence) and senior researcher at the Music Therapy Clinic for Research and Training, Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.


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