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Gestalt-Ästhetik-Musiktherapie: Argumente zur Wissenschaftlichen Grundlegung der Musiktherapie als Psykotherapie

Drewer, Martin (2000). Gestalt-Ästhetik-Musiktherapie: Argumente zur Wissenschaftlichen Grundlegung der Musiktherapie als Psykotherapie. Materialen zur musiktherapie;5. Münster : Lit Verlag.

Reviewed by Frank G. Grootaers (Translated by Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 2001)

br2001_08Martin Drewer’s book opens a lot of perspectives. In general it expands the ways to approach the phenomenon of music therapeutic processes. Especially it approaches the examples of two elaborated concepts of music therapy theory: integrative music therapy and morphological music therapy. To do so, the author compares new and alternativ theoretical concepts with the older and more commonly recognised constructs of thoughts. With this in itself already spectacular and also problematic comparison the author seeks to bring to fore counterparts and analogies, but naturally he also seeks
to present considerations between the old and new concepts of science. Then he places the different positions of thoughts in two opposing camps.

In the camp of the favoured theorems we find: gestaltpsychology, morphological psychology and anthropological aesthetics. Further there are the concepts of selforganisation as well as the theories of living systems by Maturana
and Varela. Finally, in this camp there are the concepts from the recent infant research based on empirical findings. These related theorems seem to confirm themselves mutually. These confirmations requires from the reader
the shift from one theoretical approach to another and back again, and therefore demands for a high degree of mobility from the reader. The reader is brought forth and back, from molecules to art, from embryo to musical
rhythms. The author assumes that the reader is able to re-enact in the different philosophical systems referred to, specially the epistemological systems of the different ages, from Aristotle to Habermas, through Descartes,
Leibniz, Goethe, Hegel and Nietzsche in a hurry to understand and to think in it.

The author himself provides a countermovement to this high level of mobility: Examples from every day life (Detective Columbo’s productive thinking p. 104) presented in small fonts (why actually) makes the dizzy
levels conceivable and make sense. Columbo’s thinking becomes understandable as they are thought.

For me there is another way to meet the demand for mobility: Simply keep the often-sited book of Rudolf zur Lippe, Sinnenbewusstsein. Grundlegung einer anthroplogischen Ästethik, at hand and there read for your self
the conducted quotations in their context. In that way the impressions may be situated and directed back to their original concepts.

The concepts placed in the other camp are the theorems to overcome. They are not less renowned: Freudian psychology, behaviourism, psychology of elements, traditional thinking in natural science, cybernetics. It is
interesting to note that the gestaltpsychology appears in this camp as well as in the before mentioned camp. Insufficiency, overstated quantification, questionable in terms of epistemology, denaturing and dissection instead
of vital coherence, these are the critical characteristics used in the critical handling of the theorems gathered in this camp.

In spite of all the diversity of the corresponding references between the categorical different theorems, the concept of a general aesthetic is central to the book. Following the book von W Schurian, Psychologie
ästhetischer Wahrnehmungen
, the author again and again seeks for an aesthetic concept that labours all areas of life. The effort of the author is again and again to permeate towards an integrative overall-spanning
perspective. His endeavour lies in his search for a perspective of the whole, a global view, his search for a new normative binding instance. Perhaps the author doesn’t notice the paradoxes of these claims. Where
could the point of view of this perspective be located?

Even such a searched for and global point of view obeys a selective as well as an exluding pressure. The point of view can only be the context of everies living and being itself, the one it is looking at.

The choice of arguments used to scientifically establish music therapy as psychotherapy is selectiv and exclusive, as one in the battle of the arguments want to outline one’s own profile. One cannot avoid selecting
and excluding arguments. It becomes clear that the authors’s move of selection and exclusion is derived from the concepts Gestalt and aesthetic.

Summary:

Martin Drewer’s book presupposes that the reader is passionately acquainted with epistomlogy, psychology as well as philosophy. Likewise one should be acquainted with systematic theories of realities. To my opinion the
book is not an introduction to all these theorems. It is rather a book of search, with different kinds of arguments it aims for selection and exclusion of the theorems. Just herein lie the attraction and the stimuli for reading the book. The book is a search for suitable theories that establishes music therapy as psychotherapy. The preference of certain theorems is brought to us by clear arguments. Left to consider is than wether these arguments
will be valid when confronted with the reality of the music therapist at work. Isn’t there already a demand for quite other arguments? Is it not required first to explain the choise of weapon at use?

To develop a unison scientific reasoning for a method of treatment (in this case music therapy), that is a good thing to do (and beautiful), but it gives no warranty for acceptance among the public in general. But the
unison scientific reasoning may contribute heavily for contract worthiness among the general health politics.

Martin Drewer’s book makes it clear why and which reasonings that are preferred in the struggle for a contract worthiness. This he does in an ideal way with two elaborated concepts of music therapy: the integrative
music therapy
(Isabelle Frohne-Hagemann) and the morphological music therapy (Rosemarie Tüpker). The book invites to a comparison between our used or own concepts and the two examples in order to bring about our own scientific reasonings. Surely an assumption for this is a passion for argumentation.

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