Ep. 130: What are music psychotherapy and vocal psychotherapy, and how do they work? with Dr. Diane Austin, D.A., LCAT

You are not alone

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

We discuss this new model that combines elements from music therapy and psychotherapy; the act of bravery and recorded session that captured my attention; and resources for learning more.


Joining me today is Dr. Diane Austin, Director of the Music Psychotherapy Center in NYC. Dr. Austin has maintained a private practice in Vocal Psychotherapy for more than 30 years. She is an adjunct associate professor at New York University in the graduate music therapy department and is the founder/director of the post master’s training program in vocal psychotherapy in NYC. Dr. Austin has taught international training programs in vocal psychotherapy. She has lectured throughout the world and has authored a book on the topic. Her work has been published in numerous journals and books.


We discuss:

  • What are “psychotherapy,” “music psychotherapy,” and “vocal psychotherapy?”
  • How long has music psychotherapy been around? When and how did Diane first encounter it?
  • Diane’s book, “The Theory and Practice of Vocal Psychotherapy: Songs of the Self.”
  • Recommended resources for listeners who want to learn more, whether they want to FIND a practitioner, check out training options, or just gather more information on the practice.
  • Diane’s new Distance Training Program in Vocal Psychotherapy (available in the US beginning fall  2022).

Connect/Other Resources

Other episodes that you may enjoy:

  1. Ep. 128: What music did you have for breakfast this morning? Tips for fostering mental health through music, with Jeff Mims
  2. Ep. 127: The impact of music on wellness and homeostasis, with Patricia Caicedo, M.D., Ph.D.
  3. Ep. 98: #BeyondMeToo, with Dr. Sandi Curtis, MT-BC, MTA
  4. Ep. 96: Restoring function and quality of life for those with Multiple Sclerosis; with Betsy Hartman, MT-BC
  5. Ep. 88: It Hurts So Good: When and why is sad music enjoyed? With Kimberly Sena Moore, PhD, MT-BC
  6. Ep. 51: Conscious music: How do lyrics shape my mental narrative? with Jamie Goldstein, PsyD
  7. Ep. 43: Memorial Day: A combat veteran tells his story and shares how music is serving those who serve our country, with CreatiVets’ Richard Casper
  8. Ep. 24: Autism Interventions with Music, with Esther Thane, MTA, AVPT
  9. Ep. 20: Music Heals the Soul, with founder & Dove Award winning songwriter Steve Siler
  10. View all Category: Science & Health episodes

In-Episode Promo

Arts for the Health of It podcast


Diane shares both a story and song related to an artist who has a special place in her heart, Stephen Sondheim.

Closing Words

Thanks to Diane for sharing with us today. Diane does offer virtual sessions; and, as we mentioned, there are links in the show notes to Diane’s book and her website, which includes the videoed session with Free Associative Singing that we discussed.

I mentioned in the last couple episodes that I’ve been in the process of updating my website. This update is now complete! So if you find a link that is broken or info that is missing, please let me know. That can definitely happen in the transition process. If you’d like to be notified by email every time an episode releases, there is still a page on the site where you can enter your email address. Just click the menu icon and go to Email Notification. And of course you can have each new episode conveniently delivered to your device automatically, by hitting the Follow/+ button in whatever podcast app you use.

All links from today’s episode – including a transcript of this episode – can be found in the show notes. All links are also in the episode details right in your podcast app. As always, you can reach me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. 

Thanks so much for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.

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