Word of the Week: RESISTANCE

Resistance defined: fighting, opposition

  • Synonyms: battle, blocking, check, combat, contention, counteraction, cover, defiance, detention, fight, friction, halting, hindrance, holding, impedance, impeding, intransigence, obstruction, parrying, protecting, protection, rebuff, refusal, retardation, safeguard, screen, shield, stand, striking back, struggle, support, warding off, watch, withstanding


Resistance is a common occurrence in music therapy sessions. What happens, and how do music therapists deal with it?  For one example, resistance may be seen and heard while playing musical instruments. As I observed one therapist last week, the trumpet was used in a few sessions for children with autism.  The trumpet is used to increase oral motor function, and pushing through the resistance to make a sound is very fulfilling for each client. In other cases, resistance is seen in clients when transitioning between sitting in the waiting room and starting a music therapy session. The change in environment may be tough for some, and others may be resisting therapeutic work. Many times therapists will need to regulate a client’s body first before diving into more demanding work. Bilateral drumming while moving around the room with paddle drums has been proven effective for breaking down clients’ resistance levels.

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