Dr. Alicia Howard
Alicia Howard, PhD is a music psychotherapist who specializes in chronic pain relief.
In her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Howard found that music medicine helped patients to improve their mood and provided the tools in which they were then able learn to manage their pain, helping them to better function in all areas of their lives.
Dr. Howard earned her PhD from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. Her research involved a dynamic, well-rounded and proactive focus on Music Medicine as a complementary treatment for managing pain, notably, the chronic pain disorder, Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). This study was the first collaboration between the Faculties of Music and Dentistry, and Mount Sinai Hospital’s Wasser Pain Management Centre.
Additionally, Alicia has a Master's in Music Therapy from the Florida State University where she focused on music in counseling and substance abuse. Alicia is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and has a certificate in Hypnosis from the School of Continuing Studies-University of Toronto.
Alicia’s practice consists of 3 components:
Personalized Playlist - Music is used as a tool to create a ‘safe space’ and connection between the facilitator and patient. The treatment is delivered as an ‘in-home’ 30-minute listening treatment. It is recommended that patients listen to their personalized music playlist while not engaging in other activities.
Psychotherapy - used to process emotions produced by the in-home music listening component. Also, the use of music prior to the initial psychotherapy session, creates a common ground for communication, as the facilitator is aware of the patient’s music selection.
Deepened relaxation - A meditative technique that gently guides a patient to a deeper state of awareness of one’s self, encouraging relaxation through the use of narrative and imagery.