Parallels and divergence between neuroscience and humanism: Considerations for the music therapist

Kimberly Sena Moore, A. Blythe Lagasse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A neuroscience-informed approach to music therapy may not appear to have many similarities to a humanistic one. However, a closer look at both reveals some commonalities, as well as some divergences, particularly in the conceptualization of common aspects to music therapy practice. Thus, the purpose of this article is to explore such similarities and differences and examine how ideas inherent in humanistic-leaning music therapy practice may inform and strengthen neuroscience-informed music therapy practice. After describing characteristics of the neuroscience-informed music therapy approach, we review current publications from this area of practice to see where humanistic principles are suggested. We then outline where standards of selfhood, agency, relationality, and aestheticality in particular can be infused in the clinical practice and research of the neuroscience-informed music therapist as a way to enhance client outcomes by allowing them input in realizing their own health and wellness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalMusic Therapy Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 31 2018


  • clinical practice
  • humanism
  • music therapy
  • neuroscience
  • research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Music
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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