“Every Session Was Easier Than the One Before”

Exploring emotions and social connection in group music therapy for individuals with eating disorders.

For individuals with eating disorders, a primary symptom is difficulty with emotion regulation. Can music therapy help improve emotion regulation in individuals with eating disorders? This is a question Canadian music therapists and researchers sought to answer in their study, “The Impact of Group Music Therapy for Individuals with Eating Disorders.”

In this study, 21 individuals with an eating disorder participated in weekly music therapy sessions for four weeks at an inpatient treatment centre for individuals with eating disorders. During the sessions, the group members participated in singing, musical improvisation, drumming, music and mindfulness and music and art interventions. Upon completion of the sessions, participants reported improved capacity for emotion regulation. Additionally, quantitative measurements indicated participants experienced increased emotional expression and reduced negative affect after participating in the study. For the full research report, including the impacts of music therapy on participants’ sense of social connection and audio recordings of musical excerpts from the sessions, click here.

Published : January 26, 2024