Online and Walk & Talk sessions available.

In this episode, Maya Benattar and I talk about her intriguing work in music therapy.  Maya is in private practice in New York City and online in the State of New York. She specializes in helping women who are ready to work through trauma, “stuckness,” and long-held anxiety.

In addition to her clinical work, she offers online and in-person “Reclaim Your Rhythm” workshops for helpers and healers and is a frequent presenter and speaker at conferences and trainings.


Maya received her Bachelors in Music Therapy from SUNY New Paltz and her Masters in Music Therapy from New York University.  She completed post-graduate training in vocal psychotherapy with Dr. Diane Austin, in creative arts and trauma treatment at the Kint Institute, and Music & Imagery with Dr. Lisa Summer at Institute for Music & Consciousness. Maya believes that women deserve to be loud, messy, sensitive, angry, shy, and so much more.


Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How Maya found music therapy as her calling (3:05)
  • What is music therapy? (4:24)
    • A working definition of music therapy (5:09)
  • Maya’s approach to music therapy (6:48)
    • An overview of the theoretical approaches to music therapy (7:15)
    • Maya’s psychodynamic model of generational influence on how people show up in the moment (7:43)
    • The impact of trauma and influence of untold stories (7:43)
  • Hypothetical approach to working with a woman with anxiety (8:14)
    • Approach is individualized
    • Maya’s tagline “Reclaim Your Rhythm” (8:39)
    • Often women with anxiety or trauma have become disconnected from their core rhythms (8:49)
    • Gentle mindfulness and body based sematic work (9:11)
    • Creating music in the moment to reflect or deepen a certain feeling or idea (9:24)
    • Using musical instruments and art supplies to facilitate sessions (10:14)
    • Adjusting to online sessions during the Covid-19 pandemic (11:13)
    • Exploring the relationship between lack of control and anxiety through music (11:29)
    • The differences between talk and music therapy (12:42)
    • The struggle with the unknown for women (14:24)
      • The gifts & challenges of rediscovering play as an adult (15:29)
    • Musical improvisation as the work of therapy (16:34)
    • Music as an access point to different aspects of ourselves (17:39)
      • Benefits of using tactile objects during in-person sessions (19:00)
      • Ways to make the abstract real (19:56)
    • Reclaiming Your Rhythm as a big process as well as gentle tending (21:00)
    • How musical therapy surprises and inspires (22:16)
      • Discovering and returning to the big wins for clients (24:23)
      • Unexpected benefits of telehealth (24:42)
    • Music Listening in Music Therapy (25:05)
      • Most accessible way to explore musical therapy on your own (25:25)
      • What works for one person does not work for another (25:25)
      • Challenges of working with preconceived notions & assumptions (27:19)
      • Anxiety and the need to feel grounded and a release (28:25)
      • What works for a client on a particular day and in a particular moment may change (29:20)
      • Develop playlists rather than leaning on a particular song (29:36)
      • Practice listening to the music and paying attention to what it evokes (30:10)
      • Creating space to explore and recognizing what you need or want (30:10)


Maya’s website:

Dr. Diane Austin’s website:

The Kint Institute’s website: