Midday Guest: Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy at William Carey University

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Today's Midday Guest was Jim Pierce with William Carey University.

Forrest General and William Carey University have a partnership that provides weekly music therapy sessions to oncology and pediatric patients.

The partnership is mutually beneficial to William Carey and Forrest General.  The program gives students vital practicum experience while allowing Forrest General to expand its services and enhance patient care.

"The relationship between William Carey University and Forrest General Hospital is the only music therapy program with a medical setting practicum experience in the state of Mississippi.  The mutually beneficial arrangement is a vital component to our cutting edge music therapy program and we have had the pleasure of reaching many patients.  Music therapy services uses clinical and evidenced based music therapy techniques to achieve nonmusical goals that have an immediate positive impact on daily lives of the patients.  It is great to be working with such outstanding, caring doctors and staff found at Forrest General Hospital," said Jim Pierce, assistant professor of music therapy at William Carey University.

Music Therapy is a clinical and evidence-based health profession that uses music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional to address physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social needs. "We have received such positive responses from our patients regarding the Music Therapy program.  Music Therapy interventions can be designed to assist in managing stress, alleviating pain, expressing feelings, improving communication and promoting wellness and physical rehabilitation.  We are grateful that William Carey has partnered with us to provide this wonderful addition to the Forrest General patient experience and support our 'We Care' philosophy," said Millie Swan, chief of marketing and medical staff services.

How is a Typical Music Therapy Session Beneficial?

  • Active music engagement, incorporating improvisation, can support the patient by offering control, validating feelings and processing of the experience.
  • Avoidance coping style, music has been used as a successful distraction technique.
  • Children in critical care may address general sensory stimulation, environmental awareness, or emotional coping issues.

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