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Trauma or PTSD is one of the more common topics in the neuroscience and therapy literature. However, the articles are often technical and tend to limit access to therapists, including music therapists. In addition, music therapists have an increasing body of literature on music and the brain to reference for interventions. Gene Ann will present in depth discussions, rehearsals, and experiences of recent neuroscience research and relate the outcomes to trauma- informed music therapy. No matter what theoretical approach is used, neuroscience enhances music therapists’ perspectives and treatment interventions to trauma work.


5 Points Music Sanctuary

1217 Maple Avenue, Roanoke, VA 24016


1. Identify: (a) five areas of the brain and connected symptoms, (b) three neural systems (Porges, 2018), and (c) four neural networks that are negatively impacted by trauma.

2) Identify two music strategies/interactions each to: (a) create safety, (b) calm the brain, and (c) create motor sequences.

3) Identify four music responses that suggest a client is feeling safe versus feeling unsafe.
4) Identify at least three cautions when working with clients dealing with trauma.
5) Identify four implications for music therapy interventions based on music and brain research.


Day 1 – Check-in for workshop 8:15am – 9:00 am     

Workshop 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
I. Introductions
II. Overview of brain scan research & history of trauma III. Neural perspective to trauma-informed concepts Break

IV. Experience and processing
V. Neural system – flexibly responding to change
VI. Concepts for treatment
VII. Experience and processing
VIII. Impact of trauma on nervous system and connection to symptoms

IX. Implications for treatment

X. Experience and processing
XI. Video application of trauma concepts


Day 2 - Check-in for Workshop 8:00 am – 8:30 am

Workshop 8:30 am – 3:40 pm
I. Four neural networks- connections to music and brain research
II. Implications for music interventions
III. Experience and processing
IV. Summary of treatment implications and cautions
V. Use of music interventions to support and challenge nervous system Break
VI. Application experience
VII. Concluding remarks

Gene Ann Behrens’ research on music therapy and the neurobiology of trauma has led to national and international publications and presentations in several countries. In addition to her current trauma work, some of her international work includes conducting music therapy sessions for over two months in Bethlehem, OPT, with children traumatized by the ongoing conflict; and workshops with NGO staff in Somaliland and teachers in Kenya on the neurobiology of trauma.

REGISTRATION FEES (due by February 15, 2020)


  • AMTA members- attendance/videocast* - $125 

  • AMTA members attendance/videocast* & 14 CMTEs - $175


  • Non-AMTA members- attendance/videocast* - $175 

  • Non-AMTA members attendance/videocast* & 14 CMTEs - $200


* Videocast attendance is only available to music therapists working at a VA hospital outside Virginia; a continuous check-in process will be required
(cancellation refunded up until February 28, 2020)

Send checks to Gene Ann Behrens, One Alpha Dr., Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022

“Neuropsychotherapy-A Music Therapy Approach to Trauma” is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 14 Continuing Music Therapy Education credits. The MAR-AMTA, P#065, maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.

The course provides 0 contact hours for LCAT.


Growing Through Music

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Growing Through Music is an Educational Program, and is considered neither a medical treatment nor a means to establish a medical diagnosis. The content in this website is for informational purposes only. It should be neither considered as nor substituted for medical advice.
Growing Through Music  is owned exclusively by Anderson Music Therapy Services LLC. Use or modification is strictly prohibited unless expressly and duly authorized.

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PO Box 20736

Roanoke, VA 24018



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