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Sound therapy: Ancient method treating new-age problems

Mental health has been significantly affected during the pandemic, which could lead to isolation, loss or fear.  For some of those struggling with anxiety or depression, holistic approaches have become another alternative in dealing with these issues. A method that has been used for thousands of years is still preserved in a progressive world. The power of an unassuming, but particular sound, seems to connect people to something greater, yet familiar.

In sound therapy, clients are not asked to disclose their problems entirely. A sound therapist’s role is to guide people through their own healing processes, or at the very least, encourage a release. The client is asked to identify “a construct”, something that creates an obstruction in parts of their lives. After the “construct” is brought to their attention, the sound therapist uses particular instruments, depending on what the needs of the client are.

These sounds usher the client into their internal world, where an altered state of consciousness is induced. Oliver Genn-Bash (32), a trainee sound therapist, and his client Egle Burksaite (26) took this journey on an enchanting beach in Ramsgate, Kent.



Sound therapy also implements different concepts such as resistance, release, resonance, reflection, and responsibility. This method is called The 5 R’s and was developed by Lyz Cooper at The British Academy of Sound Therapy.

Responsibility and reflection underpin the therapeutic process; endorsing self-reflection and encouraging clients to become an active part of their own healing treatment.

When clients come across resistance during the session, that may occur when there is a refusal to feel certain emotions. This avoidance leads to the separation from their problems and identifying their magnitudes.

Mr Genn-Bash: “Suffering occurs when we place… whatever it is… far from ourselves. And we don’t allow our egos to drop to the point, where we are able to stop carrying the stuff constantly with us.”

“We can’t do anything unless we really unpack our traumas and sit with them.”

Yet, resistance is an opportunity for a potential release and further engagement in the self-reflective process again. Clients can recognise what blocks aspects of their lives, and therefore allow for the “construct” to be less potent.

The final stage is resonance, or the sense of connectedness when two entities vibrate on the same wavelength. Sympathetic resonance is often demonstrated on two tuning forks, which after hitting one into the other, eventually tune onto the exact same frequency. In sound therapy, resonance is experienced as feelings of joy, connection, clarity, safety and more.



Before the therapy, it is suggested to bring yourself into a meditative, relaxed state; lying comfortably in a quiet place.

After bringing the “construct” to your full attention, the therapist then asks the following questions:
-Do you feel it somewhere in your body?
-How does it make you feel?
-Does it have a colour, image, or shape?
-Does it make a sound?
-If it could speak, what would it say?


Included instruments: A drum, bells, Koshi, a rainstick and shakers.

Photo: Getty Images/Bandolinata