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About Us

"Music is the medicine for the mind." - John A. Logan

Learn about our mission, our program, and the program's director..

Our Mission

The mission of Sound Minds USA is to promote human health and well being for all people who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression, schizophrenia, apathy, sleeping disorder, tinnitus, and addiction.

 With some cognitive impairments (notably PTSD), there is a physiological change in the brain. The amygdala (fear/emotions) and hippocampus (event memory) become desynchronized yielding confusion, depression, despair. This results in certain traumatic events not being fully processed (i.e. combat, rape, TBI, severe physical injury, severe psychological injury). Dr. Oliver Sachs states “Nothing activates the brain so extensively as music”.  

The dynamics at work between sound-music stimuli, and the brain’s inherent plasticity/adaptability, is of primary significance. Sound Minds USA has developed two treatment modules since 2008 through work with veterans, active military, abused spouses, addicts, rape victims, severe physical-injury victims, and severe mental-injury victims.

 

The two modules come from a multidisciplinary context with input from patients, neurologists, psychologists, composers, musicologists, performers, psychiatrists, internists, and therapists.

Our Program

These 90 minute sessions are intended for those with PTSD (Post Traumatic

Stress Disorder) who might benefit from a non-invasive session that aims to

engage both the subconscious and conscious mind through music. The

music is familiar (for memory associations) and unfamiliar (for non-

associative responses) and includes The Blues, Americana, Originals,

Classic Rock, and Classical.

We try to limit the number of participants to 25 for each session.

Meet the Director

Duke Thompson, DMA

Dr. Duke Thompson is the Executive Director of

Maryland Conservatory of Music and his own experience in 2007 that

included a near-death automobile accident is the reason that Sound Minds

USA exists today.  Dr. Thompson suffered TBI (Traumatic  Brain Injury) and

was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  Medical doctors

prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications for him, but Dr.

Thompson did not respond to them. As a way to express his difficult

emotional and cognitive struggles, Dr. Thompson began to compose.  His

music was noticed by the CEO of the Ashley Recovery Center and they asked

him to share his music with the patients there.  These sessions evolved

into a program called Music for the Inner Self and Dr. Thompson now offers

the program four times a week at recovery center, for the general public,

for veterans with PTSD at VA Hospital and for Women's Extended Care of

Ashley Recovery.

 

Dr. Thompson's music is highly regarded as thought provoking and

introspective as well as being dramatic and communicative with those in

attendance.  Dr. Thompson has performed in Japan, Europe, and across

Canada, The United States.  He has been featured on National Public Radio

in both Canada and The United States.  Dr. Thompson holds his Doctor of

Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University.  He also studied with

Nadia Boulanger in France and with Leon Fleisher at Peabody Conservatory

in Baltimore. Dr. Thompson has taught at colleges and universities in

Canada and The United States.  In 2001, he founded Maryland Conservatory

of Music, where he currently serves as Director.  Dr. Thompson combines

his role at Maryland Conservatory of Music with his program, Music for the

Inner Self, and his solo performance career.

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