Let’s Look at Therapeutic Listening® Research

Research Team

To the untrained eye, it is often difficult to assess listening skills. Since we cannot directly observe internal listening processes, we must infer listening function through behavioral clues. This task is especially difficult due to the extremely wide range of behaviors associated with poor listening skills and the fact that the behaviors are not always linked to listening in an obvious way, such as cupping one’s hand behind the ear.

“The present study produced encouraging findings to support the use of Therapeutic Listening as part of an overall sensory integrative approach to occupational therapy in elementary school-age children. Therapeutic Listening, along with sensory diet strategies, can be effective in reducing many behaviors associated with sensory integration disorder.”

(Hall & Case-Smith, 2007, p. 215)

Evidence Brief on the Effectiveness of Therapeutic Listening®

The existing body of research on Therapeutic Listening presents positive findings regarding the use of Therapeutic Listening as a treatment tool embedded in a sensory integrative treatment approach.  The studies identify multiple positive gains including improved attention, handwriting, ability to perceive and move through space, enhanced interaction with peers, greater ability to attend to and follow directions, improved sleep and wake cycles, and enhanced communication. The current research on Therapeutic Listening does support continued clinical use. Future well-controlled studies would expand and enhance the existing research.

Qualitative Research

Level III: Quasi-Experimental/Repeated Measure Design/Pretest - Post-test Design

Level V: Case Study

Vital Links Practitioner Survey

Vital Links also conducted a practitioner survey in 2005. The survey questions focused on attention, self-regulation, and sensory modulation. Clinicians reported seeing widespread improvements in these areas: more than 87% of all respondents (N=1053) and 95% of those who had taken the Advanced Therapeutic Listening course (N=246) reported that Therapeutic Listening increased the rate of improvement in more than half of their cases. Improvements were reported in sound sensitivity, energy level, sensory defensiveness, transitions, attention, focus, and mood.