Author: Katerina Gikopoulou
Translator: Elissavet Botsaki
While studying the various forms of therapy, I asked my professor about music therapy. His answer was that, basically, music therapy is not a real therapy, since no one can really suggest that just by listening to music we can be healed. I am not sure whether this is a universally held view, but the professor supported his reasoning by saying that recent studies can hardly prove that music has a positive result to a patient suffering from a mental disorder. However, the main purpose is to understand not just the impact that the sound of music has to a patient but whether music can ease the sound of the “voices” or else the psychotic reality that someone suffers.
It follows that what we need to realize is the importance of the voice -the voice and not just the logos- in every stage of growth. According to Freud, the libidinal invested objects are the chest, the anus and the phallus. However, according to Lacan (1952) there are two more, the sight and the voice.
Lacan examined the voice (1952) while studying psychosis and he claims that it has a strong influence, leading to self-completion. The fact that we speak and produce voice, instantly implies the existence of the Other, who is ready to hear and answer us. Thus, starting from our childhood, the subject awaits for an answer to this voice, “the primitive answer” from the mother. However, for the child to grow it is important to develop its voice without being overwhelmed by the voice of the Other, the voice of the mother, something not so easy to happen. “Nothing can be missed from the voice we hear. We cannot simply close our ears” (Vines, 2014).
According to Freud, an infant is born detached from its own self, resulting from the end of the state of suffering, which impedes the preservation of its homeostatic balance. Thus, crying occurs, the very first crying of the baby. Of course we assume that crying is not a call to the Other, to the mother, but instead a way for the baby to express its misery outside the protected environment, where it lived for 9 months.
However, each one of us perceives music differently. Whether music can be used for therapy, or not, let’s discover it for ourselves. Beyond any theory, psychoanalytic or otherwise, we feel the need for help and compassion for any person who is in need of any kind of therapy. How wonderful it feels to see that some people are indeed trying so hard…
Lacan, J. (1952). Seminaire 23. Paris: Le Seuil.
Vives, J-M. (2014). Médiations théapeutiques par l’art. Paris: ERES.