Music as Nonverbal Speech [Charles Gourgey]


Psychotherapy has sometimes been called the “talking cure.” But what happens when there is no talking? Is all necessarily lost? This presentation will consider three cases in which meaningful verbal communication was impossible. It was found that when words fail, sometimes music can take over in establishing a connection with the client. In effect, music becomes a substitute language, which a client may understand when words are no longer accessible.

Short bio:

Charles Gourgey, Ph.D. is a Long-Term Care Ombudsman serving nursing home residents and their families, New York State Board Certified Music Therapist, and independent researcher in religion and spirituality. He has a background in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and has written numerous articles on the psychology, sociology, politics, and history of Judaism and Christianity. His two books are Judeochristianity: The Meaning and Discovery of Faith and The Meaning of the Resurrection: A Path Toward Jewish-Christian Dialogue. Dr. Gourgey’s work aims to mobilize religious traditions as resources for individual and collective healing in our own time. He is a founding member of the IPhA Working Group on Faith, Psychology and Social Justice.