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Exploring The Differences: ABA Therapy and Music Therapy

When our community speaks, we listen. So when we heard that our local Florida neighborhoods were experiencing a shortage of solutions and experts in the therapeutic landscape, we wanted to know more. Specifically, we found that this shortage is occurring in the mental health and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) spaces, creating a void and sparking interest in alternative therapies for families in need. The topic of ABA therapy is sensitive in our region, with many families and practitioners advocating its benefits. That being said, The House of Music Therapy believes in offering an alternative perspective, sharing an exploration of music therapy’s unique advantages and ethical considerations when compared to traditional ABA-style treatment.

If you’ve found yourself interested in learning more about the benefits of music therapy after facing ABA challenges, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to explore a thoughtful comparison between traditional ABA therapy and music therapy, which we hope will help guide you to the best therapeutic option for you and your loved ones.


Understanding Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy and Associated Challenges

ABA therapy is a well-established therapy approach for many individuals with autism or other developmental disorders. By focusing on the principles of behaviorism, ABA uses established techniques to modify behavior and teach new skills, including enhanced communication. Many are familiar with ABA therapy for its efficacy in addressing specific behaviors or challenges, making it a desirable therapy option for several families in our area.


Unfortunately, the shortage of ABA therapists across Florida communities continues to make it challenging for families to access related therapies. Extensive waitlists leave families looking for alternative approaches to fulfill their need for immediate support. This is where music therapy can play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between Florida families’ needs and effective support solutions.


Music Therapy Saves The Day: An Effective Solution for Families In Need

Music therapy offers a holistic approach, tapping into the power of music, to achieve therapeutic goals. The beauty of music therapy, and the services that we provide at The House of Music Therapy, is that our offerings aren’t limited to a specific age group or set of goals, and can address a wide range of needs. Whether you or your loved one is struggling with emotional, psychological, physical, or social challenges, we can leverage the power of music therapy to address goals and concerns in ways that feel enjoyable for our clients.


By highlighting some key differences and advantages offered by music therapy and our specific programs, we hope to help Florida families feel informed and equipped to approach their family’s goals through a well-informed perspective:


1. Music therapy is non-invasive, inclusive, and approachable

Our team of therapists and staff take pride in our passion for creating safe, welcoming, accessible environments for clients. Music therapy offers a non-invasive experience for clients of all ages and ability levels. No formal diagnosis is required to benefit from the therapeutic effects of our classes and programs, making it accessible to even more families in need. Check out our expansive and ever-growing collection of virtual resources, or ask about our virtual customized programs!


2. Enhance Emotional Expression and Communication Skills

We love that music serves as a universal language, allowing children and adults to express themselves emotionally and communicate in unique ways. Music therapy helps individuals express themselves, identify their feelings, reduce frustration, and enhance their overall emotional well-being.


3. Reduce Stress and Increase Relaxation

We love seeing the calming impact and relaxation benefits that music has on our clients. In turn, patients and their families experience reduced anxiety and lower stress levels. When compared to most structured ABA sessions, music therapy tends to offer a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for therapy, which can be especially helpful for those who find traditional therapy intimidating. Our music therapy spaces offer comfort, colorful environments, and a relaxing atmosphere.


4. Increased Social Interaction Opportunities

Several of our offerings involve collaborative group activities, allowing clients to practice social skills in the presence of peers and welcoming instructors. Most music therapy programs offer group settings and social exposure, allowing patients to work on these skills during their therapy journey.


5. Ethical Considerations

Music therapy is rooted in practices that focus on an individual’s well-being, self-expression, and personal growth. We don’t employ behavior modification techniques and we prioritize our clients’ right to autonomy and boundaries, especially when it comes to their bodies and physical comfort levels.


You can find more resources detailing the benefits of music therapy when you visit our blog. Or, you can check out our “Skeptic’s Guide to Music Therapy” here.


Recognizing the Benefits: Music Therapy for Florida Families

Across the Florida therapeutic landscape, this shortage of ABA therapists creates an opportunity for alternative therapies - like music therapy - to shine as effective solutions. Our goal is not to criticize ABA, but rather, to provide an informed perspective on how our immersive, engaging programs can serve as a valuable alternative.


By offering a non-invasive, inclusive, and ethically sound approach to treatment, music therapy can help children and adults reach their therapeutic milestones while genuinely enjoying the journey. Music therapy is a viable path for anyone seeking therapy solutions, and the House of Music Therapy Team is here to help you find a therapy journey that feels harmonious. We hope this comparison helps you find clarity in your search for effective programs for you or your loved one. If you have questions about what we do or are curious about whether or not we’d be a good fit for you or your loved one, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can learn more about our offerings, who we serve, our rates, and the resources we share by visiting our website.

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