Integrating Client-Chosen Music in Relational Trauma Treatment: Pathways to the Heart

Karen Riggs Skean


This commentary discusses the therapy of a hybridized client (Blimling, 2019) with a difficult relational trauma history in which client-chosen music was combined with a short-term treatment utilizing Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP). This combination bypassed rigid defenses and allowed access to a level of affect not ordinarily available to the client, allowing significant symptomatic and relational shifts to occur. Primary goals of helping the client deal with a major loss, reduce his level of depression, and improve his interpersonal functioning were met. Implications for the use of integrative methods with short-term models and the importance of therapist flexibility are discussed.


Accelerated Experiential Dynamic therapy (AEDP); complex trauma; short-term dynamic psychotherapy; music; psychotherapy integration; case study; clinical case study

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