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Greater Good | Concetta Tomaino Uses Music to Treat PTSD

Greater Good | Concetta Tomaino Uses Music to Treat PTSD

♪ Blame your kiss as
sweet as a kiss can be- ♪>>>I was diagnosed with
PTSD, just having a hard time emotionally mentally.
I was, I had been traumatized a couple of
times by different things. I said I’m not going to
continue with this. There’s no reason for me
to continue to live, because I have no reason
to. I want out. >>>A large number of
veterans struggle with post-traumatic stress
disorder and traumatic brain injury. Music therapist
Concetta Tomaino saw a way to use her expertise
to help them recover. We visited one of her weekly
healing music programs and spoke with some veterans
about their experience.>>>In the beginning when
we started the group it was a true music therapy
group. It had allotted therapy golds, working on
self-regulation, emotional resiliency, trust of other
people. But it’s really at this point a way of supporting
their self expression, their creativity, and giving
them a purpose to get out every day and to be
part of the community.>>>I was really sad. I
had nothing and the music just ignited something
and the people. ♪ [ singing together ] ♪>>>A person with PTSD is
sort of bombarded by a lot of different thoughts and
intrusions about their safety and about their
belonging and it can cause some people severe
anxiety. It becomes something that’s sort of
ringing in the back of your head. You know am I
safe? Is this ok? Am I in a safe place? you know how
can I be sure? let me make sure. Or just a lot of
avoidance of different things.>>>There is often a real
detachment between their feelings or the ability to
really be in touch with their feelings. And can
heal or you can’t recover, if you don’t know whether
what it is that’s blocking you. And so many times
those emotions that are inherently expressed in
the music can be used as a catalyst for discussion
and bringing those personal feelings up to
the surface. >>>I think the best way
to find out if there’s something wrong with you
is admit you have a problem. Face the idea
that you’re not there anymore, that was in the
past. So long as you know that when you hear
firecrackers for Fourth of July it’s going to bring it
back. But you know what it is, you know how to
deal with it. ♪ I see clouds of blue-
red roses – ♪>>>You might not be cured
never put you always can always treat it and you
can always act if you don’t let it beat you. You
beat it see. And music help me to fight it, I
know this. >>>We saw memory
improvements, we saw attention improvements
control over emotional regulation which is big,
being more tolerant of others, which is big, so all of those
kinds of gradual really slow little steps of improvement
that over time became major steps of recovery.
Even if somebody misses a session the other participants
will call them up to see how they’re doing it’s that
kind of it’s grown into that kind of support system.>>>All I can think now is
that life is worth living sometimes. You just have to
find the right connection. Like right now, I’m not
connected with my family at all, but there’s an
ember in my heart for myself and other people.

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