The dire need for innovation in mental health and the potential offered by experiential therapies has been previously laid out in this article.
COVID-19 has disrupted or halted mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide.¹
Compared to 2019, US adults are more than three times as likely to screen positive for depressive disorders or anxiety disorders - with one in three screening positive for one or both.²
We must explore new paradigms of care in order to meet the increasing demands and complex needs of mental health globally.
For now, at least, mental health and well-being treatment will require a digital, remote component.
Experience music as psychedelic therapy remotely by booking a Wavepaths Deep Listening session.
A perfect storm
Even prior to COVID-19, mental health conditions were becoming increasingly prevalent, accounting for about 13% of the global burden of disease.³ Following a long term global underinvestment in mental health, our ability to respond to, and recover from the many impacts of the pandemic is stress-inducing in and of itself. Therefore, in order to minimise global impact, it is paramount that unmet mental health needs are adressed. ³
The pandemic has increased both the need for, and barriers to access support. Physical distancing measures among other factors have increased levels of anxiety, depression, stress, loneliness and impaired sleep, whilst at the same time limiting access to in-person therapeutic interventions, traditional therapeutic outlets and support systems. ⁴ ¹⁵
"Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way."
- Edward de Bono
Rethinking pathways of care through music
2020 began with many uncertainties, and a few months into our national lockdowns one thing became clear; that the world was changing in a multitude of ways and this was increasingly likely to impact our own lives.
While the pandemic has restricted freedoms, music offers an outlet of internal exploration that is always available to us: an accessible, alternative approach for supporting mental health and wellbeing at home. Recent research supports this notion, showing that music was universally effective for achieving goals related to well-being during the pandemic, and that music listening was one of the activities whose importance increased most during lockdowns for facilitating emotional regulation. ¹⁶ ¹⁷
In an attempt to cater to some of these changing needs and continue to support our community virtually, we at Wavepaths decided to make a profound shift towards prioritising remote experiences.
Wavepaths Deep Listening
Born out of research into the role of music in psychedelic therapy, Wavepaths’ Deep Listening sessions are designed to facilitate emotional reconnection and release, relaxation and autobiographical insight through music.
The arc of the music journey is curated for participants by a trained Wavepaths guide. Each experience is completely unique, composed of music from world-class artists carefully designed to support specific therapeutic processes, and rendered in real-time by Wavepaths' generative music system.
Our challenge lay in being able to replicate the personalised, adaptive, fully immersive experiences with music remotely. Initial reports emphasise positive experiences of remote Deep Listening sessions:
Profound, unexpected and sonically beautiful.
A massage for the brain.
A time to relax. A tool to facilitate insight. A feeling of connectedness.
The pandemic has compounded mental health trends and brought attention to the efficacy and accessibility of current treatments, catalysing the development of alternative approaches and remote models of care.
“2021 will be the time that a spotlight is cast on the limitations of current mental-health care treatments, and bold alternatives are highlighted." Wavepaths advisor Robin Carhart-Harris in Wired ¹⁸
Experience Wavepaths Deep Listening for yourself by joining a weekly guided session.
Wavepaths is committed to progressing the scientific evidence base for music, both for and as psychedelic therapy. If you are interested in developing this field of research as a therapist, psychedelic therapist, facilitator or guide and using Wavepaths music in your practice, sign up for our therapist beta here.
Participation gives you access to our therapist tool and educational platform: a private social network focused on progressing this field of research and practice together.