Music of the Soul guides the reader through principles, techniques, and exercises for incorporating music into grief counseling, with the end goal of further empowering the grieving person.

Music has a unique ability to elicit a whole range of powerful emotional responses in people – even so far as altering or enhancing one’s mood – as well as physical reactions. This interdisciplinary text draws in equal parts from contemporary grief/loss theory, music therapy research, historical examples of powerful music, case studies, and both self-reflecting and teaching exercises. Music is as much about beginnings as endings, and thus the book moves through life’s losses into its new beginnings, using musical expression to help the bereaved find meaning in loss and hurt, and move forward with their lives. With numerous exercises and examples for implementing the use of music in grief counseling, the book offers a practical and flexible approach to a broad spectrum of mental health practitioners, from thanatologists to hospice staff, at all levels of professional training and settings.

In Routledge’s Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement. Series Editor and Foreward, Robert A. Neimeyer: “… in Music of the Soul Berger has orchestrated a major piece of work, one that is in a single stroke both universal and deeply personal in its resonance. I recommend it highly for all of those who seek to reach where words cannot, and join more deeply with those they serve in seeking to compose life out of loss.”


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United Kingdom