Sound affects peoples’ lives on all levels - physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Musician and sound healing pioneer Jonathan Goldman joined guest host Lisa Garr (email) in the first half of the program to discuss the transformative and healing powers of sound. Goldman recalled how he got involved with sound as a healing modality after realizing the music he was creating in his band contributed to audience negativity. From that point on he sought to use sound to make people feel better.
"Any music, depending upon the time, the place, and the need of the individual can be therapeutic," Goldman suggested. The principle behind sound healing proposes everything is in a state of vibration, including one's body which has a normal healthy resonant frequency, he explained. Hearing music affects people in psychoacoustic (nervous system and heart) and vibroacoustic (cellular/molecular level) ways, he continued, pointing out that though individuals have unique vibratory signatures, typically mid-range sounds will resonate the chest, low-range the abdomen, and high-range the head. "What is really, really important [to healing with sound] is not only the sound we make but the intention that we put upon the sound," Goldman disclosed. He also played audio samples from his album of therapeutic Chakra chants.
In the second half of the show, Dr. Mark Goulston, a former UCLA professor of psychiatry and an FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer, talked about the power of listening and how to effectively communicate with anyone, especially those in pain. He shared a quote by British psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion who said, "the purest form of listening is to listen without memory or desire," and noted the most disruptive form of communication is listening. Goulston recounted an anecdote from his days moonlighting at a state hospital where he had a remarkable breakthrough with a suicidal patient named Nancy after an exhaustion-induced vision showed him the bleak world she saw through her eyes.
According to Goulston, suicidal people, like Nancy, do not necessarily want to die, they want the pain to go away. They are in despair—unpaired with hope, feeling helpless, powerless, meaningless, and pointless, he explained. A suicidal person will ultimately start to pair with death as a way to end the pain, Goulston added. To help, someone must pair with the suffering person in a way that they feel felt, he revealed. This process involves building rapport and helping them feel heard, Goulston said, noting how he uses seven words (hurt, afraid, angry, ashamed, alone, lonely, and tired) to help begin the conversation.