Music Therapy in Greece
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Tsiris, G. (2011) Music Therapy in Greece, Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, , , ,
The use of music as a therapeutic agent was an essential part of healing practices and rituals in Ancient Greece. Nowadays, there is a wealth of literature about these practices, as well as their philosophy with regards to music's healing powers and its connections to physiological, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of wellbeing (e.g., Georgiadi , Elpida, 2007; Kopsacheilis, 1996; Makris & Makri, 2003; Ntziouni, 2009; Polychroniadou, 1989; West, 1999). Of course, the very words music and therapy originate from the Ancient Greek words __ (mousike, meaning art of Muses) and (therapeia, meaning service, curing, healing) respectively - whose original meaning still inspires contemporary therapists worldwide. Music therapy in modern Greece (Hellas) draws on this rich background, and is currently in a formative and rather exciting stage of development. This paper attempts to provide an overview of music therapy's development and current state as a contemporary profession and discipline in Greece. It addresses a spectrum of aspects with regard to music therapy services, education and research in Greece. Also, legal and professional issues are discussed and an outline of relevant Greek literature and publications is given which can guide the reader in other relevant sources of information. The information provided through this paper is drawn from a range of sources, including official publications, anecdotal material, as well as my own personal experience. This range of sources aims to provide a clear and honest account of music therapy in Greece, where various perspectives are embraced (even when these may appear conflicting). It is worth clarifying that this paper does not attempt to make a detailed reference to the work of each individual who has contributed to the development of music therapy in Greece. However, I would like to warmly thank and express my appreciation to each one of them. I hope this paper will create a platform for further dialogue and discussion. Contributions from Greek music therapy practitioners are welcome.