Gary A. Glickman, PhD, LMFT Body Centered Psychotherapy
Gary A. Glickman, PhD, LMFTBody Centered Psychotherapy 

Voice and Music



...Whereas the truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.

                                                        Gustave Flaubert        



Singing as a Therapeutic Modality:
Counseling Work at the Piano
Often people ask me, regarding the work I do as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist using singing, if I am doing therapy for singers or doing singing as therapy. The answer, of course, is both. Learning to use your voice in all its fullest resonance and colors, learning to find and communicate the music within you, and the feelings which can't always be communicated in words, can be a liberating and transforming experience. Sometimes trauma can be worked through more directly and joyfully in this mode of working, than by sitting and talking. When the body resonates through singing, body and the spirit heals.        


    Sometimes, the person I'm working with is in fact trained as a singer, or training as a singer with me. As with any other coach or teacher, we discuss how to sing a particular song, how to shape problematic notes or syllables or phrases, and we practice new parts that haven’t been memorized. We discuss tempo, rhythm, diction, dynamics, slowing down and speeding up.  But we are also discussing thoughts versus feelings, obsolete beliefs, where does strength come from; how to ground and empower yourself,  and the importance of breath, body- mindfulness, channeling a style of integrity, intuition, subtext, assertiveness, physical and emotional resonance, ambition, theater, persona, hopes, dream-images—in other words, all the most vibrant and basic of therapeutic subjects.

    Very often the person I'm working with is not someone trained as a singer, nor trained in any musical education, someone who may have trouble finding a pitch, or keeping a tune, or rhythm, or trouble engaging his body or her feelings. Then we discuss self-esteem and trauma explicitly, depression, exercise, cognitive distortions, affirmations, goal-setting—in other words, plenty of straightforward therapeutic concepts.
    We also may work with pitch, rhythm, style, intent, subtext, persona, even musical keys and the relationships between notes and the emotional color of chords—in other words, the same necessary musician-talk as in any teaching studio, liberated from the pathologizing context of the clinical office, into metaphor and art.

    The inflection is different, of course, according to the individual. But often practicing singers find their lessons enriched by life and body insight, and people who think of themselves as ‘non-singers’ go away feeling a new connection to melody, rhythm, body-power, performance pleasure, mastery with memorization, optimism.

    People are usually surprised, opened-up, and pleased to reach their goals through this enriched, multi-purpose path. Often they’re too busy having a rich and fun experience to notice how many blocks have opened up, how many healing metaphors succeed in their transformations; how many life lessons are carried away, learned by heart and body and mind, in other words, all through a song.


Please feel welcome to email me:



or call me at (310) 980-4188. I'm happy to offer a free phone consultation to potential clients and students to answer any questions you might have.


Contact Information:

Gary Glickman, PhD, LMFT

CA License #42298

HI License #765

Phone: (310) 980-4188


E-mail: garyglickmanphd (at)

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© Gary Glickman, PhD, MFT