Music as Therapy: Trauma Other Therapies

On the topic of music, Banitt shares some fascinating insights. We took note of a key point that she covers in this teaching that goes even beyond the topic of music. It is the two different and complementary actions of:

  • Mirroring, and
  • Soothing

Why the Disparity in Music Preferences?

Some people with traumatic stress cannot bear any harsh music. Their finely tuned nervous systems can only handle the soothing strains of New Age or classical music. Others want head-banging, loud and gritty music, the more shocking and fouler, the better. What makes for this disparity? Like anything else, we can use music consciously or reactively.

In contemplating the power of music I have found two important but very different purposes for healing with music: mirroring and soothing. Mirroring music reflects back to us our traumatic stress… Soothing music cranks down the nervous system and allows us to exhale. It can entrain the brain to softer, more coherent states of functioning and enable us to perform better in our lives.

Bannitt went on to share more about a song list she created for trauma survivors, which she noted was received very positively. Her songs progressed methodically through these themes:

Mirrored Trauma: Despair, Anger & Hopelessness

  • Tool
  • REM
  • Sia
  • Punk, heavy metal or Gorecki

Fighting Back

  • Seal
  • Bryan Adams
  • Peter Gabriel
  • David Gray
  • Adele
  • Carole King
  • Annie Lennox


  • Krishna Das or other spiritual or religious music


  • Classical, movie and commercial music

New Vision

  • Sigur Ros
  • Enigma
  • Current pop artists
  • New Age
  • Adiemus