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Guidelines for Music Therapy Practice in Mental Health: A Four Volume Series


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Permission has been granted to include this chapter. All rights reserved Barcelona Publishers.


Modern society has induced a plethora of new media through which people of all ages can be affected by stress, including life stress (Holmes & Rahe, 1967), academic stress (Misra & Castilo, 2004), occupational stress (McClenahan, Giles, & Mallett, 2007), music performance anxiety stress (Kenny, 2005), social stress (Meyer, 2003), traumatic stress (Sutton, 2002) and acculturative stress (S. Kim, 2011). The complex nature of modern society is responsible for increasing levels of stress in our daily lives (Edlin & Golanty, 2010). The Annual Stress Report (2012), conducted by the American Psychology Association (APA), found that 44% of respondents felt that the degree of stress in their lives had increased over the past five years. Moreover, one in five respondents were identified as suffering from chronic stress. Stress includes psychological and physiological manifestations (Fink, 2000; Lovallo, 2005). The effects of stress can be significant, as stress can result in serious illnesses such as depression, insomnia, heart disease, cancer, weight problems, or, in extreme cases, suicide (McEwen & Stellar, 1993; McGrady, 2007; Walker, Wingate, Obasi, & Joiner, 2008). Although there have been efforts to increase awareness of the effects of stress on health, only 31% of the respondents indicated that their own stress level could cause poor health conditions. The first step in increasing awareness of stress is to understand the mechanisms of stress.

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