Jump to content

Audio therapy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Audio therapy is the clinical use of recorded sound, music, or spoken words, or a combination thereof, recorded on a physical medium such as a compact disc (CD), or a digital file, including those formatted as MP3, which patients or participants play on a suitable device, and to which they listen with intent to experience a subsequent beneficial physiological, psychological, or social effect.

Synthesis of multiple disciplines[edit]

Audio therapy synthesises elements from a number of discrete areas of research and practice, including receptive music therapy, bibliotherapy, creative visualization, guided imagery, guided meditation, sound healing, and cognitive behavioral therapy.[1][2][3][4]

Receptive music therapy[edit]

The term "receptive music therapy" denotes a process by which patients or participants listen to music with specific intent to therapeutically benefit; and is a term used by therapists to distinguish it from "active music therapy" by which patients or participants engage in producing vocal or instrumental music.[5]

Receptive music therapy is an effective adjunctive intervention suitable for treating a range of physical and mental conditions.[6]

Audio therapy inherits from receptive music therapy the process by which listening to sound benefits a listener, but departs from it in three significant ways.

Firstly, whilst receptive music therapy provides musical sound, to which the patient or participant listens, audio therapy also uses other kinds of acoustic content, including the spoken word and ambient noise.[7]

Secondly, practitioners of receptive music therapy allege that its effective application requires the presence of a therapist, emphasizing the relationship between the client and the therapist, between the client and the music, and between the client and therapist interacting with the music. In contrast and by distinction, audio therapy is provided as a self-service modality, through which the listener is purported to experience a therapeutic benefit in consequence to listening, without input or guidance form a third party.[5][8][9][10]

Thirdly, whilst receptive music therapy may provide live as well as recorded music, to which the patient or participant listens, audio therapy is always provided via a sound recording.[11]


Bibliotherapy is the process by which a patient or participant reads fiction, poetry, and other creative with intent to experience a therapeutic outcome that manifests most commonly as the relief of psychological pain or mental distress as well as an increased introspective insight into himself or herself.[12][13]

Bibliotherapy is often situated in a context where it is one of multiple interventions, and is usually grounded in a specific psychotherapeutic or psychological discipline. One such discipline is cognitive behavioral therapy.[14] Unlike music therapy, but similar to audio therapy, the most important aspect of cognitive bibliotherapy is the content of the recording, and not the individual interactions with a therapist.[15]

Audio therapy imports the principles of bibliotherapy but provides the content on a recorded media, making therapeutic use of audiobooks[16]

Creative visualization[edit]

Creative visualization is the cognitive process of purposefully generating visual mental imagery, with eyes open or closed,[17][18] simulating or recreating visual perception,[19][20] in order to maintain, inspect, and transform those images,[21][22][23][24][25][26][27] consequently modifying their associated emotions or feelings,[28][29][30] with intent to experience a subsequent beneficial physiological, psychological, or social effect, such as expediting the healing of wounds to the body,[31] minimizing physical pain,[32][33][34][35][36][37] alleviating psychological pain including anxiety, sadness, and low mood,[38] improving self-esteem or self-confidence,[39] and enhancing the capacity to cope when interacting with others.[40][41]

Creative visualization can be facilitated in person by a teacher or practitioner, or provided on recorded media. Whether provided in person, or delivered via media, as it is in audio therapy the verbal instruction consists of words, often pre-scripted, intended to direct the participant's attention to intentionally generated visual mental images that precipitate a positive psychologic and physiologic response, incorporating increased mental and physical relaxation and decreased mental and physical stress.[42]

Guided imagery[edit]

Guided imagery is a mind-body intervention by which a trained practitioner or teacher helps a participant or patient to evoke and generate mental images[43] that simulate or re-create the sensory perception[44] of sights,[19][20] sounds,[45] tastes,[46] smells,[47] movements,[48] and images associated with touch, such as texture, temperature, and pressure,[49] as well as imaginative or mental content that the participant or patient experiences as defying conventional sensory categories,[50] and that may precipitate strong emotions or feelings.[28][29][51] in the absence of the stimuli to which correlating sensory receptors are receptive.[52][53]

The practitioner or teacher may facilitate this process in person to an individual or a group. Alternatively, the participant or patient may follow guidance provided by a recording of spoken instruction that may be accompanied by music or sound, as it is in audio therapy.[8][9][10][54][55][56]

Guided meditation[edit]

Guided meditation is a process by which one or more participants meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher,[43] either in person or via a written text, sound recording, video, or audiovisual media[8][9][57] comprising music or verbal instruction, or a combination of both.[58][59]

Audio therapy facilitates guided meditation for therapeutic benefit through the provision of recordings.

The term "guided meditation" is most commonly used in clinical practice, scholarly research, and scientific investigation to signify an aggregate of integrated techniques. The most common and frequently used combination or synthesis comprises meditation music and receptive music therapy, guided imagery, relaxation, some form of meditative practice, and journaling. Less commonly, hypnosis, or hypnotherapeutic procedures are included as part of the multifaceted intervention denoted by the term "guided meditation".[60][61][62]

Cognitive behavioral therapy[edit]

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy[63] that can be delivered effectively to a range of patients through the provision of audio recordings, as it is in audio therapy, which provide the patient with instruction pertaining to the management of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.[64][65][66][67]


Audio therapy is predicated on the hypothesis that attentively listening to recorded sound, such as music, spoken words, or ambient noise, affects thoughts and feelings, which in turn affects brain electrochemistry and body physiology. It may therefore be considered as a mind-body intervention, as defined by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The NCCIH defines mind–body interventions as those practices that "employ a variety of techniques designed to facilitate the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms", and include guided imagery, guided meditation and forms of meditative activity, hypnosis and hypnotherapy, prayer, as well as art therapy, music therapy, and dance therapy.[68]

Although the means by which the mind affects the body is largely unknown, it is explained to a significant degree by psychoneuroimmunology.

The term "psychoneuroimmunology" was coined by the American psychologist Robert Ader in 1981 to describe the study of interactions between psychological, neurological, and immune systems.[69]

The fundamental hypothesis of psychoneuroimmunology is concisely that the way people think and how they feel directly influences the electrochemistry of the brain and central nervous system, which in turn has a significant influence on the immune system and its capacity to defend the body against disease infection, and ill health. Meanwhile, the immune system affects brain chemistry and its electrical activity, which in turn has a considerable effect on the way we think and feel.[70]

Because of this interplay, a person's negative thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, such as pessimistic predictions about the future, regretful ruminations upon the past, low self-esteem, and depleted belief in self-determination and a capacity to cope can undermine the efficiency of the immune system, increasing vulnerability to ill health. Simultaneously, the biochemical indicators of ill health monitored by the immune system feeds back to the brain via the nervous system, which exacerbates thoughts and feelings of a negative nature. That is to say, we feel and think of ourselves as unwell, which contributes to physical conditions of ill health, which in turn cause us to feel and think of ourselves as unwell.[71]

However, the interplay between cognitive and emotional, neurological, and immunological processes also provides for the possibility of positively influencing the body and enhancing physical health by changing the way we think and feel. For example, people who are able to deconstruct the cognitive distortions that precipitate perpetual pessimism and hopelessness and further develop the capacity to perceive themselves as having a significant degree of self-determination and capacity to cope are more likely to avoid and recover from ill health more quickly than those who remain engaged in negative thoughts and feelings.[72]


  1. ^ Blenkiron, P., Coping with depression: A pilot study to assess the efficacy of a self-help audio cassette. British Journal of General Practice, Vol. 51, 2001, pp366-370.
  2. ^ Suresh, B. S., De Oliveira Jr, G. S., and Suresh, S., The effect of audio therapy to treat postoperative pain in children undergoing major surgery: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatric surgery international, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2015, pp197-201.
  3. ^ Rodriguez, R. M., Taylor, O., Shah, S., and Urstein, S., A Prospective, Randomized Trial in the Emergency Department of Suggestive Audio-Therapy under Deep Sedation for Smoking Cessation. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2007, p79.
  4. ^ Zaini, N., Latip, M. F. A., Omar, H., Mazalan, L., and Norhazman, H., Online personalized audio therapy recommender based on community ratings. In Computer Applications and Industrial Electronics (ISCAIE), IEEE Symposium, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Bruscia, K. (1998). Defining music therapy. Gilsum, NH: Barcelona.
  6. ^ Grocke, D., and Wigram, T. (2007). Receptive methods in music therapy: Techniques and clinical applications for music therapy clinicians, educators, and students. London, England: Jessica Kingsley, 2007.
  7. ^ Kämpfe, J., Sedlmeier, P., and Renkewitz, F., The impact of background music on adult listeners: A meta-analysis. Psychology of Music, Vol. 39, No. 4, 2011, pp424-448.
  8. ^ a b c Morris, C., The use of self-service technologies in stress management: A pilot project. Master of Social Work Clinical Research Papers. Saint Catherine University, St. Paul, MN, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Carter, E., Pre-packaged guided imagery for stress reduction: Initial results. Counselling, Psychotherapy and Health, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2006, pp27-39.
  10. ^ a b Naik, M. N. S., Effect of guided imagery on life style among alcoholics. Sinhgad e-Journal of Nursing, Vol. 11, 2013.
  11. ^ Dunn, J. A., An examination of effectiveness of a sleep induction audiotape in conjunction with a standardized behavioral treatment protocol on anxiety, depression, psychosocial functioning, and sleep among a clinical population with insomnia. Doctoral Dissertation, Florida State University, Tallahassee. FL, USA, 2002.
  12. ^ Lehr, F., Bibliotherapy. Journal of Reading, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1981, pp76-79
  13. ^ McKenna, G., Hevey, D., & Martin, E., Patients' and providers' perspectives on bibliotherapy in primary care. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Vol. 17, 2010, pp497-509.
  14. ^ Campbell, L. F., and Smith, T. P., Integrating self-help into psychotherapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology In Session, Vol. 59, 2003, pp177–186.
  15. ^ Cuijpers, P., Donker, T., van Straten, A., Li, J., and Andersson, G., Is guided self-help as effective as face-to-face psychotherapy for depression and anxiety disorders? A systematic review and meta-analysis of comparative outcome studies. Psychological Medicine, Vol. 40, No. 12, 2010, pp1943-1957.
  16. ^ Scogin, F., Hamblin, D., & Beutler, L., Bibliotherapy for depressed older adults: A self- help alternative. The Gerontologist, Vol 27, 1987 pp383–387.
  17. ^ Isaac, A. R., and Marks, D. F. (1994). Individual differences in mental imagery experience: Developmental changes and specialization. British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 85, 1994, pp479–500.
  18. ^ McKelvie, S. J. (1995). The VVIQ as a psychometric test of individual differences in visual imagery vividness: A critical quantitative review and plea for direction. Journal of Mental Imagery, Vol. 19, Nos. 3-4,1995, pp1–106.
  19. ^ a b McAvinue, L. P., and Robertson, I. H., Measuring visual imagery ability: A review. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, Vol. 26, No. 3, 2007, pp191–211.
  20. ^ a b Cocude, M., and Denis, M., Measuring the temporal characteristics of visual images. Journal of Mental Imagery, Vol. 12, No. 1, 1988, pp89–101.
  21. ^ Kosslyn, S. M., Image and mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980.
  22. ^ Kosslyn, S. M. (1987). Seeing and imagining in the cerebral hemispheres—A computational approach. Psychological Review, Vol. 94, No. 2, 1987, pp148–175.
  23. ^ Kosslyn, S. M., Thompson, W. L., and Ganis, G., The case for mental imagery. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2006.
  24. ^ Marr, D. C., Vision: A computational investigation into the human representation and processing of visual information. New York: Freeman, 1982.
  25. ^ Kosslyn, S. M., Seeing and imagining in the cerebral hemispheres—A computational approach. Psychological Review, Vol. 94, No. 2, 1987, pp148–175.
  26. ^ Cichy, R. M., Heinzle, J., and Haynes, J. -D., Imagery and perception share cortical representations of content and location. Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2012, pp372–380.
  27. ^ Slotnick, S. D., Thompson, W. L., and Kosslyn, S. M., Visual memory and visual mental imagery recruit common control and sensory regions of the brain. Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2012, pp14–20.
  28. ^ a b Lang, P. J., Levin, D. N., Miller, G. A., and Kozak, M. J., Fear behavior, fear imagery, and the psychophysiology of emotion: The problem of affective response integration. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 3,1983, pp276–306.
  29. ^ a b Holmes, E. A., Coughtrey, A. E., and Connor, A., Looking at or through rose-tinted glasses? Imagery perspective and positive mood. Emotion, Vol. 8, No. 6, 2008, pp875–879.
  30. ^ Holmes, E. A., and Mathews, A., Mental imagery in emotion and emotional disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2010, pp349–362.
  31. ^ Wientjes, K. A., Mind-body techniques in wound healing. Ostomy/wound management, Vol 48, 11, 2002, pp62-67.
  32. ^ Baird, C. L., and Sands, L., A pilot study of the effectiveness of guided imagery with progressive muscle relaxation to reduce chronic pain and mobility difficulties of osteoarthritis. Pain Management Nursing, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2004, pp97-104.
  33. ^ Schaffer, S. D., and Yucha, C. B., Relaxation and Pain Management: The relaxation response can play a role in managing chronic and acute pain. American Journal of Nursing, Vol. 104, No. 8, 2004, pp75-82.
  34. ^ Syrjala, K. L., Donaldson, G. W., Davis, M. W., Kippes, M. E., and Carr, J. E., Relaxation and imagery and cognitive-behavioral training reduce pain during cancer treatment: a controlled clinical trial. Pain, Vol. 63, No. 2, 1995, pp189-198.
  35. ^ Turner, J. A., and Jensen, M. P., Efficacy of cognitive therapy for chronic low back pain. Pain, Vol. 52, No. 2, 1993, pp169-177.
  36. ^ Manyande, A., Berg, S., Gettins, D., Stanford, S. C., Mazhero, S., Marks, D. F., and Salmon, P., Preoperative rehearsal of active coping imagery influences subjective and hormonal responses to abdominal surgery. Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 57, No. 2, 1995, pp177-182.
  37. ^ Eller, L. S., Guided imagery interventions for symptom management. Annual Review of Nursing Research, Vol.17, No.1, 1999, pp57-84.
  38. ^ Margolin, I., Pierce, J., and Wiley, A. (2011). Wellness Through a Creative Lens: Mediation and Visualization. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 2011, Vol 30, No. 3, pp234-252.
  39. ^ Rees, B. L., An exploratory study of the effectiveness of a relaxation with guided imagery protocol. Journal of Holistic Nursing, Vol. 11, No. 3, 1993, pp271-276.
  40. ^ the Hirsch, C. R., Clark, D. M., and Mathews, A., Imagery and interpretations in social phobia: Support for the combined cognitive biases hypothesis. Behavior Therapy, Vol. 37, 2006, No. 3, pp223–236.
  41. ^ Libby, L. K., Valenti, G., Pfent, A., and Eibach, R. P., Seeing failure in your life: Imagery perspective determines whether self-esteem shapes reactions to recalled and imagined failure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 101, No. 6, 2011, pp1157– 1173.
  42. ^ Lang P. J., A bio-informational theory of emotional imagery. Psychophysiology, Vo.17, 1979, pp179–192.
  43. ^ a b Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name? US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. National Institutes of Health. NIH Publication No. D347. Online Version. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  44. ^ Kosslyn S. M., Ganis G., and Thompson W. L., Neural foundations of imagery. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 2, No. 9, 2001, pp635–642.
  45. ^ Zatorre, R. J., Halpern, A. R., and Bouffard, M., Mental reversal of imagined melodies: A role for the posterior parietal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2010, pp775-789.
  46. ^ Tiggemann, M., and Kemps, E., The phenomenology of food cravings: The role of mental imagery. Appetite, Vol. 45, No. 3, 2005, pp305–313.
  47. ^ Stevenson, R. J., and Case, T. I., Olfactory imagery: A review. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2005, pp244–264.
  48. ^ McAvinue, L. P., and Robertson, I. H., Measuring motor imagery ability: A review. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2008, pp232–251.
  49. ^ Juttner, M., and Rentschler, I., Imagery in multi-modal object learning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2002, pp197–198.
  50. ^ Banissy, M. J., Walsh, V., and Ward, J., Enhanced sensory perception in synesthesia. Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 196, No. 4, 2009, pp565–571.
  51. ^ Holmes, E. A., and Mathews, A., Mental imagery in emotion and emotional disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2010, pp349–362,
  52. ^ Kosslyn, S. M., Ganis, G., and Thompson, W. L., Neural foundations of imagery. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 2, No. 9, 2001, pp635–642.
  53. ^ Lang, P. J., A Bio-Informational Theory of Emotional Imagery. Psychophysiology, Vol. 16, 1979, pp495–512.
  54. ^ Morris, C. W., and Morris, C. D., Increasing healthy habits and health behavior change in corporate wellness programs. Corporate Wellness Programs: Linking Employee and Organizational Health, Vol. 215, 2014.
  55. ^ Meador, K. S., The effect of synectics training on gifted and non-gifted kindergarten students. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, Vol.18, 1994, pp55-73.
  56. ^ Meador, K. S., Fishkin, A. S., and Hoover, M., Research-based strategies and programs to facilitate creativity. In Fishkin, A. S., Cramond, B., and Olszewski-Kubilius, P. (Eds.), Investigating creativity in youth: Research and methods, pp389-415. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton,1999.
  57. ^ Stein, T. R., Olivo, E. L., Grand, S. H., Namerow, P. B., Costa, J., and Oz, M. C., A pilot study to assess the effects of a guided imagery audiotape intervention on psychological outcomes in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Holistic Nursing Practice, Vol. 24, No. 4, 2010, pp213-222.
  58. ^ Rose J. P. and Weis, J., Sound meditation in oncological rehabilitation: a pilot study of a receptive music therapy group using the monochord. Forschende Komplementarmedizin, Vol. 15, No. 6, 2006, pp335-343.
  59. ^ Grocke, D., and Wigram, T., Receptive methods in music therapy: Techniques and clinical applications for music therapy clinicians, educators, and students. London, England: Jessica Kingsley, 2007.
  60. ^ Astin, J.A., Shapiro, S.L., Eisenberg, D. M., and Forys, M.A., Mind–body medicine: State of the science, implications for practice. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, Vol. 16:, 2003, pp131–147.
  61. ^ Newham, P., Guided Meditation: Principles and Practice. London; Tigers Eye, 2005.
  62. ^ Newham, P., Music and Meditation: The Therapeutics of Sound. London: Tigers Eye: 2014.
  63. ^ Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (2nd Ed.) (pp. 19-20). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
  64. ^ Seidler, G. H., and Wagner, F. E. (2006). Comparing the efficacy of EMDR and trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of PTSD: a meta-analytic study. Psychological medicine, Vol. 36, 11, pp1515-1522.
  65. ^ Carroll, K. M., Ball, S. A., Martino, S., Nich, C., Babuscio, T. A., Nuro, K. F., and Rounsaville, B. J., Computer-assisted delivery of cognitive-behavioral therapy for addiction: a randomized trial of CBT4CBT. American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 165, No. 7, 2008, pp881-888.
  66. ^ Johnson, R. E., Jones, G. T., Wiles, N. J., Chaddock, C., Potter, R. G., Roberts, C., and Macfarlane, G. J., Active exercise, education, and cognitive behavioral therapy for persistent disabling low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Spine, Vol. 32, No. 15, 2007, pp1578-1585.
  67. ^ Marks, Isaac M.; Mataix-Cols, D., Kenwright, M., Cameron, R., Hirsch, and S., Gega, L., "Pragmatic evaluation of computer-aided self-help for anxiety and depression". The British Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 183, 2003, pp57–65
  68. ^ Straus, S. E., Expanding Horizons of Healthcare: Five Year Strategic Plan 2001–2005. 25 September 2000. US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. National Institutes of Health. NIH Publication No. 01-5001. Online Version Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  69. ^ Ader, R., A historical account of conditioned immunobiologic responses. In R. Ader (Ed.), Psvchoneuroimmunology, pp321-352. New York: Academic Press, 1981.
  70. ^ Borysenko, J., Psychoneuroimmunology: behavioral factors and the immune response. ReVision, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1984, pp56-65.
  71. ^ Borysenko, J., Minding the Body, Mending the Mind. MA: Addison-Wesley, 1987.
  72. ^ Rossi, E., The Psychobioloqy of Mind-Body Healing. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1986.