Kye Marshall, a psychotherapist for 12 years as well as a professional composer, cellist and improviser specializes in using music and the creative arts in her therapy practice. She improvises with her clients (individuals, couples and groups) helping them access their non-verbal subjective experience.

Clients need no training or background in music as they are playing on a vast array of tuned and untuned instruments from around the world, which can be blown, shaken, beaten, strummed and bowed. The improvisations or sound pictures are taped and listened to later as a way of further exploring the inner landscape through dialogue, art-making, movement poetry or more music.

The relational nature of improvisation allows the therapist to convey to the client empathy, grounding, support and understanding nonverbally. Kye is able to use her musical expertise to help clients create improvisations that are meaningful musically and therapeutically useful. Working within the metaphor, experience can be expressed and then transformed inside the fluid musical matrix. Communication through music allows us to bypass the inner censorship of words while accessing those parts of ourselves that existed before language or those parts that are simply unavailable to linguistic rendering. Music connects directly to our emotions and has the power to move us as no other earthly force can. It can also be a powerful integrative force as it connects also to the physical, cognitive, creative and spiritual aspects of ourselves.

Current infant research and analytic theory help further our understanding of how and why music and the arts are so effective in the therapeutic healing process; for example, concepts such as vitality affects, moments of meeting, procedural memory, the intersubjective field etc.

Transforming loss through improvised music - click here