What is Therapeutic Listening?

Developed by Vital Links, Therapeutic Listening is research based tool for treating people of all ages who have difficulty processing sensory information, listening, attention, and communication.

Used by thousands of therapists around the world, Therapeutic Listening is a highly individualized, music based tool that activates listening to help people tune-in to and respond to their world.

Therapists and caregivers frequently report a broad array of changes in the clinic, home, and community environments. Commonly reported changes include:

Home/School Changes

  • Improved social interactions
  • Improved communication skills
  • Enhanced ability to focus
  • Ability to make transitions or changes in routine easier
  • Increased engagement in the world
  • Improvements in sleeping
  • Regulation of hunger and thirst cycle regularity
  • Toilet training/cessation of bed wetting
  • Regulation of mood and energy level (overall a happier child, less irritable, less hyperactivity or low arousal)
  • Improved ability to respond to sounds and verbal directions
  • Increased participation in and exploration of playground equipment (swings, slides, climbing structures)

Clinic Changes

  • Praxis and motor planning (coming up with an idea, planning and then completing the task)
  • Decreased fear of movement and fear of heights
  • Improved bilateral motor coordination (coordination between the left and right, the top and bottom, and the front and back side of the body)
  • Improvement in fine motor skills including handwriting
  • Better timing and sequencing of motor skills
  • Improved ability to perceive and navigate space
  • Ability to move on stable and dynamic surfaces
  • Reduction in sensory defensive behaviors (abnormal responses to sensory stimuli like sounds, touch, taste, pain)

Practitioners and caregivers commonly report seeing improvements in:

  • sensory modulation
  • posture and movement
  • attention
  • improved social interactions
  • increased engagement in the world

...all leading to gains in day to day function and communication.

Therapeutic Listening is an evidence-based auditory intervention intended to support individuals who experience challenges with sensory processing dysfunction, listening, attention, and communication.

Since the auditory system has connections to many parts of the brain, sound is a powerful way to access the nervous system and affect changes at all levels. The music in Therapeutic Listening albums gives the listener unique and precisely controlled sensory information. The music is electronically modified to highlight the parts of the sound spectrum that naturally trigger attention and activate body movement. In addition to the electronic modifications, Therapeutic Listening capitalizes on the organized rhythmical sound patterns inherent in music to trigger the self-organizing capacities of the nervous system.

To gain a more complete understanding of Therapeutic Listening in a treatment context, please refer to our case studies at http://www.vitallinks.net. Here you will find reports of positive change and gain, chronologies of treatment, and therapists' accounts of their own clinical reasoning during the creation of Therapeutic Listening protocols and sensory diets for their clients.

See also Interactive Metronome, Therapy/Family Services, Therapeutic Play Interactions™, and Feeding Group & Specialty Workshops.