Combining music therapy and psychotherapy for people affected by younger-onset dementia

Music and Psychotherapy and Social Connections (MAPS) is a novel pilot project combining traditional cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with music therapy for people living with youngeronset dementia (YOD) and their carers. People living with YOD, as well as their carers or support persons, are at high risk of depression and anxiety due to ongoing psychosocial stressors of living with and supporting someone with dementia from a young age. Perceived lack of support and social isolation can further contribute to mental illness. There is increasing evidence that both CBT and music therapy are beneficial for these groups. 

This pilot project involves a seven-week online manualised group program for carers and people living with YOD. We will use a combination of CBT and music therapy, with themes of: 

1. Dealing with the challenges and changes associated with living with YOD or being a carer

2. Finding ways to be positive and focusing on the things we value. 

Through using a combined therapy approach and connecting people living with YOD and their carers through a group program, we hope to improve the mental health and social connectedness of those who participate. If shown to be effective, the results from this pilot can be used for further development and potential expansion of the program.


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