Compassionate Mind Training and Music Therapy- Matt Le Mare

Matt is a BAMT registered music therapist presently working with elders with dementia and a variety of private clients. He also trains music therapists at Derby University. It is here that Matt encountered Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) and trained as a CFT practitioner with Paul Gilbert. Matt is very interested in how Compassion can be used alongside Music Therapy and has blended it into his approach with clients.

Matt has kindly shared links to his work and provided this overview – Matt, its a great privilege to have this shared via the community blog, thank you.

A bit about the recordings

I asked Paul Gilbert a year ago if I could compose some music to go with one of his compassionate mind practise recordings and since then have been writing music for Compassion Focused Therapy practises. Most recently this has involved working with a script that Paul Gilbert, Wendy Wood and Frances Maratos have created for the Compassionate Mind Training in schools. I recorded Wendy Wood then recorded myself giving readings of the practises and have put music to them to try an evoke feelings of greater safety in the listener.

The power of compassion

The intention of the tracks, and in my therapy too, is to enable people to experience greater safety and flexibility in the world so that they can access neural circuits that can efficiently dampen defences in appropriate settings. This then enables them to utilize the phylogenetically older circuits in their bodies to experience greater connection with others and a deeper sense of personal wellbeing. Training ourselves to look for and experience compassionate responses from those around us, whilst also developing practices to ‘dial down’ self-critical voices within, are very important ways of achieving this!

The power of music

From my Music Therapy training I know that music can create safeness and change us physically by activating less fear and more social engagement, for example with the prosodic qualities of melody. In everyday life this is evident in the way that people are using music to regulate their emotions with the devices they now can carry around. The music I have composed has drawn on the science behind the choices we make to be more compassionate. Music is in itself a medium that enhances mindfulness enabling us to connect with what we feel in our bodies and notice our thoughts from moment to moment. Music therapists work with clients from cradle to grave harnessing the innate musical propensities that are part of our humanness. Music can reach people on a level that is unaffected by pain, suffering, illness or disability and can give comfort where words may sometimes fail.


Practice and music

Recordings with Wendy Wood

Recordings by Matt

Useful Links


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