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Panic Disorder and Music Therapy

Written by sshowalter, MRosenthal.

The American Music Therapy Association states that "Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program."1

Music therapy interventions can be designed to:

  • promote wellness
  • manage stress
  • alleviate pain
  • express feelings
  • enhance memory
  • improve communication
  • promote physical rehabilitation.

Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of healthcare and educational settings. Historically, music has been used to provide relief and relaxation for many centuries but began in its modern-day form after WWI.

Effect of Music Therapy on Panic Disorder

Just as is discussed in the panic disorder and biofeedback article, lowering the heart rate and blood pressure can help to treat the anxiety that comes along with panic disorder. Music therapy uses music to help calm and sooth a person's mental state as well has have a physiological effects like the lowering of blood pressure and the heart rate. Music therapy can take different forms, with some people enjoying listening to soothing music, and others enjoying making music. Either way, some people with panic disorder find music therapy to be extremely helpful.

Read more details about Music Therapy.

Research Evidence on Music Therapy

Music therapy has been shown to be effective in helping to treat anxiety in terminally ill patients. 63 Though it hasn't been extensively studied for other patients, music therapy might well be effective in treating others with anxiety as well.

Music therapy can be used in conjunction with medications, as a means to reduce the amount of medication taken or even to serve as the primary method for treating depression.1


  1. American Music Therapy Association. Frequently Asked Questions. Accessed on July 15, 2010 from
  1. Horne-Thompson A, Grocke D. The effect of music therapy on anxiety in patients who are terminally ill. J Palliat Med. 2008;11:582-590.

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