You know the magic of the song that touches your soul?
What does it say, your song? Maybe it’s about darkness and depression, or all-encompassing anxiety? About being the outsider, separate from others and lonely… Maybe about being different and wrong, like the wrongly shaped piece in a puzzle.
Or it could be about someone looking for themselves, feeling deeply, not finding their place. Someone nervous, striving to do it right, to find the correct way to live. Or maybe about anger, pain and hurt that you’ve experienced.
It’s so hard to carry all that. How could it not be?
You don’t let just anyone to see or share it.
Yet you want to move forward, and find a more balanced life. More confidence. The happy you. I’m sure you’ve tried to talk about it, searched for help, maybe even already tried some form of therapy, but it’s not easy to find the words.
It seems the only other way is to grit your teeth and keep going, try to be like everyone else, until you can’t anymore. Maybe someone even told you that you have to be able to keep up and deal with it like everyone else does.
It’s not that simple, is it?
Your experience and your feelings are valid, they need to be heard.
There’s nothing really wrong with you. The thing is, to get rid of the pain you’re carrying, first you need to hear what it has to say.
Words aren’t often nearly enough to do that. That’s why your song says more about you than you’d believe.
Music therapy is helpful for many mental health challenges
Music therapy is a creative form of therapy where music is used to make emotional processing easier. With music, it’s possible to get in touch with your emotions even when there are no words.
The most common reasons for coming to music therapy are depression and anxiety. Music therapy is also helpful for many other conditions, regardless of the diagnoses you may have.
For example, with music therapy it’s possible to
Compared to cognitive therapy, I would say music therapy fits people who want to dive into those parts of themselves that are difficult to verbalize.
Pesonally I’ve noticed that talking doesn’t necessarily reach all experiences and especially emotions, so processing them in talk therapy doesn’t really work.
Music reduces the struggle to work through your emotions
Often music says more about your emotions than any words could. Maybe you already find solace in music when life is hard.
In music therapy, we consciously use music to help you deal with the pain you’re carrying. With the magic of music, it’s easier to face even the most difficult issues safely and gently – and even have fun while doing it.
The exact methods in music therapy will be formed around your needs, and you don’t need to have any sort of musical skills or experience when you come to therapy.
A music therapy session may include different musical methods like playing, singing, listening to music or making music. In addition, we’ll also spend time both discussing the emotions that come up in therapy and learning to recognize their effects in your body.
Where words fail, music speaks.
Hans Christian Andersen
Why and how is music helpful?
When you’re in therapy, you’re always dealing with difficult issues in one way or another. It’s not easy to verbalize your problems and emotions. You might not have any idea why life feels so hard, and finding answers usually requires processing on several levels, including your subconscious experiences, thoughts and emotions. Music makes this process easier and it feels good to move through this work, even when you’re dealing with deep pain.
It’s a connection to your subconscious emotions
Music helps to (re)connect with emotions, memories and images that offer new perspectives. When you’re only verbally processing your experiences, it’s easy to remain on the cognitive, conscious level, and never reach the deeper emotional levels. Music within therapy is a tool for reaching the subconscious levels.
It helps you feel safe and supported
In music therapy it’s easier to process difficult emotions and experiences when you can lean to the safety and support of music that touches you. Maybe you already use music – even without really thinking about it – to help you deal with difficult emotions, for example if you’re angry or sad. In therapy, we consciously bring in the music to help ease the emotional work, in a variety of ways.
It’s a creative tool for self-expression
Music makes it possible to express yourself when you don’t have the words to explain what’s going on. In music therapy, using music is always your own decision, and creative expression does not mean needing to fulfil any artistic or musical expectations. In therapy, your music doesn’t need to sound perfect, it’s supposed to sound like you. Even when you’re feeling difficult or like a mess – my job as a therapist is to help you find your way through.
This is what happens in a music therapy session with me
When you come to music therapy with me, you can expect to interact with some music. You get to try playing, singing or making music if you want to, and you decide what kind of music you want to work with. We can also listen to music or try other ways of using recorded music to process your emotions. No musical experience of know-how required!
What makes music therapy sessions so different from talk therapy is that music actually makes therapy enjoyable and fun, while also making it more effective.
It’s not all music though: We’ll also talk about your experiences and emotions to help you understand yourself and your life better.
Listening to music
We may listen to songs and musical pieces that take you directly to a certain vibe or a memory. You know the ones that feel like the writer or composer has meant the song for you personally. When we listen to songs like this together, it helps you examine your emotions as soon you experience them.
We can also use musical imagery either to access subconsious emotions or memories or to help you calm down and relax.
Playing and singing
In addition to listening, we can also sing or play songs that are important to you, to help you embody and move through the emotions and memories linked to them. In therapy we always use musical instruments in ways that don’t require any prior musical skills – unless you already play an instrument and want to use that to express yourself.
One method that’s often used in music therapy is free playing (ie. improvisation). Together we will find ways to create musical soundscapes that reflect your emotions. Whatever your way of playing an instrument is, in therapy it’s always the right one. Even if you’ve never touched the instrument before!
We can also process your experiences through making your own music if that interests you. It doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated: I’ll support you throughout the process, helping you make a musical form for your emotions and experiences. It could be a song or a rap, or something completely different – including digital music.
Uncovering your voice
Therapeutic use of the voice doesn’t necessarily mean singing. Using your voice always engages your body, and if you venture into freely expressing your emotions using your voice and your body, you’ll soon notice how your self-confidence grows and the emotional baggage around it starts to fade. Yet we’ll always do it at your own pace and close enough to your own comfort zone.
Working with the body
In addition to the musical methods, I’ll always encourage you to listen to your body. All emotion lives first and foremost in the body, so deep emotional or trauma work cannot happen on thought level alone. Instead I gently help you in getting friendly with the sensations and experiences in your own body so that the pain you carry can eventually be released. This will also help your nervous system work with you in healing ways, instead of against you like it probably does if you’re carrying any sort of trauma.
Musical methods have helped me become aware of difficult emotions and made me feel lighter.
Music therapy has worked very well for me. In my earlier talk therapy, I never reached such profound changes.
Music therapist Anni Laine
I’ve worked as a music therapist since the beginning of 2022, and before that as a musical wellbeing coach since 2017. I have a certificate in integrative music therapy, and already during my studies I worked for several years with clients with depression and other mental health issues.
As a therapist, it’s important for me that you feel free to be yourself in therapy. It’s my job to listen, support and walk with you on your therapy journey, as you dive deep into yourself and start figuring out how to get unstuck.
In therapy, there are no ready-made answers. The most important thing is to allow whatever it may be you’re experiencing, and learn to be present with even the most difficult emotions. All the solutions and answers can eventually be found within your own self.
How to work with me
If you’re in southern Finland
If you’re in Finland, and you’re between 16 and 25 years of age, you may be eligible for Kela (The Social Insurance Institution) reimbursed rehabilitative psychotherapy. To apply, you will need a psychiatrist’s referral.
For other Finnish residents, I offer music therapy without referrals, as a self-paid option.
If you’re anywhere else in the world
Working with me remotely is also an option. Some methods will need to be adapted, but remote work can be just as deep as meeting in person. See the end of the page for how to contact me to arrange a Zoom meeting to discuss further.
My premises in Kirkkonummi, Finland
My practice is in Masala, Kirkkonummi, easily reachable by train or bus from Helsinki or neighbouring cities.
The price for a therapy session (45 min) is 87 €.
For Kela reimbursed rehabilitative psychotherapy, the deductible that remains to be paid after reimbursement is 29,40 €.
The first meeting is an assessment session, where we start getting to know each other and the methods of music therapy, and plan the length of therapy as well as your personal goals, in case we decide to start working together. The assessment session is 60 min for the same price of 87 €.
All my prices include VAT 24%.