Therapeutic Listening FAQ

 Last Updated on August 24, 2016

Therapist: Frequently Asked Questions


Is it alright for the listening sessions to be 2 hours apart instead of 3, due to a short school day?

No, you should move to only 1 Therapeutic Listening session per day, if this is the case.

Is 2-3x a week sufficient amount of time to do the TLP or is a MUST to do it 2x every day?

You can do this; you just won’t get results as quickly. Also, if the child can be supported outside of treatment with a good sensory diet, that will help.

Is it appropriate to use TL when a child has the flu, cold-like symptoms, or a temperature?

Since an individual will the flu or temperature will obviously be feeling quite under the weather, I would take a break from the listening until symptoms clear up and they are feeling better. Just consider it a “natural break from the body”. If an individual has a runny nose or a little cough, you can continue with their listening.

Once a client has completed a Therapeutic Listening program, how do I develop a program for them to use as a “boost” at home?

You can create a program for families to use as a “boost” when the child experiences future periods of disorganization. Select approximately 5 to 6 music albums that have proven to be successful with regulation and organization. When needed, the family can rotate through the already established albums to provide variety for the client. Another option would be for the client to move onto Fine Tuning music.

What do I do with a child who has been on a different listening program that I want to put on Therapeutic Listening?

Take a break for about 2 weeks before starting Therapeutic Listening.


I started listening with my client and have noticed an increase in emotionality, defiance, and/or negative behaviors. What does this mean?

“Disorganization before reorganization” often occurs (even in typical development) during periods of rapid growth as the nervous system reorganizes itself. Positive changes that occur in conjunction with the increased negative behaviors, suggest that this is a phase of developmental growth. Often we can see this struggle for independence emerge as children become more integrated, gain increased awareness of their emotions, and their ability to communicate.

My client has been wetting the bed and having some sleep disturbances. What does this mean?

If the child is having bladder control difficulties during bedtime, it can be an arousal issue. Some accommodations you can make to child’s Therapeutic Listening program include having the child listen earlier in the day, decrease the listening time, or decrease to one listening session per day.

Often my client falls asleep while listening to the CDs. Is this okay?

We do occasionally have some children/adults who fall asleep while listening to the music. This could be from so many different things (long day, quiet period of time, etc.). While it is not ideal to have the client listen while sleeping, it is also not a problem. In an ideal world, we would like the listener to be awake & mindful of the music, but if they listen while sleeping (which is easier for some), the music can still be effective.

Therapeutic Listening with Specific Populations

Have you used Therapeutic Listening with traumatic brain injury or stroke?

We have used Therapeutic Listening with clients with traumatic brain injury and stroke. It may be worthwhile trying the listening with this client. It may help improve his perception of some sensory issues that may in turn improve some timing/sequencing seen in movement and an awareness of his own self. It can be helpful for postural activation, spatial awareness, and attention, as it taps into the orienting response.

Is it safe to use Therapeutic Listening with a child who has a seizure disorder?

Yes, as long as the child’s seizures are not sound-induced.

Is Therapeutic Listening contraindicated for children with tic disorders?

Therapeutic Listening is not contraindicated. There is sometimes a period of reorganization where tics may increase, before decreasing with the organization. As long as parents are aware of this, you can certainly use the CDs.

Is it appropriate to put a child with a known hearing loss on a Therapeutic Listening program?

Yes, individuals with hearing loss can benefit from Therapeutic Listening. Remove the hearing aids prior to listening if they create feedback. Therapeutic Listening will not change hearing for an individual with a known loss, but may improve vestibular, regulatory, sensory modulation, or engagement issues. In addition, the client may begin to pay more attention to sound.

Are there any precautions with implementing Therapeutic Listening with individuals who have cochlear implants?

No there are not any precautions regarding using Therapeutic Listening with individuals with cochlear implants. If using Therapeutic Listening with a child with a cochlear implant, the therapist should understand the mechanics and frequency range of the cochlear implant. It is best if the therapist works in conjunction with other team members who are supporting the cochlear implant.