The Social Architecture of Anxiety and Potential Role of Music Therapy


  • Rebecca Zarate Lesley University



anxiety, social justice, humanitarianism, interdisciplinary research, improvisation


According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2009), anxiety has become a serious international threat to global health, productivity, and sensibility. When a person suffers from anxiety, it impacts all aspects of their well-being as well as that of people close to them. This paper discusses the presence and impact of anxiety as a relational, multisensory, and embodied experience that occurs as a result of internal and external social environmental stressors. It supports the theory that the individual and collective impact of anxiety is an operational social construct produced from a deeply rooted history of competitive individualism, power in relationships and issues of difference in society. The way in which the field of music therapy currently conceptualizes anxiety suggests that more studies are needed to specifically target the larger relational and social contexts of anxiety. Thus, providing the potential for increasing the body of knowledge for the field and opportunities for music therapists to think and practice from such a critical perspective.

Author Biography

Rebecca Zarate, Lesley University

Rebecca Zarate is Assistant Professor, Music Therapy Coordinator and doctoral program faculty, Division of Expressive Therapies, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences.




How to Cite

Zarate, R. (2016). The Social Architecture of Anxiety and Potential Role of Music Therapy. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 16(1).