Authors: (Grace W. Johnson, Carmen T. Gonzalez, Christopher Y. Chang, Sarah L. Maines, Melissa M. Mainville, Amy J. Asbury, Gorin School of Music, Mountain View, CA, and others)
Abstract: A person‘s emotional state is often revealed in his/her voice. In addition, the psychological state of an individual may noticeably affect the vocal quality, resulting in persistent dysphonia. This can be problematic when the voice communicates more the condition of the messenger rather than the content of the message. Especially in singers, the voice is required to inhibit and transcend the psychological state in order to convey the appropriate emotional disposition of the song. As such, singing requires a high level of voice function, and any variance in voice ability/health can impede a successful performance. With any type of dysphonia, successful diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation depend upon acknowledging both organic as well as non-organic psychological causative factors. Symptoms for which no biological reason can be found may indicate a psychological etiology which, if not addressed, can lead to frustration and ultimate treatment failure. To complicate matters, since voice problems can trigger a negative psychological response, distinguishing that response from a primary psychogenic voice disorder can be difficult. Even if recognized, treatment of psychogenic voice disorders can be complex and require a collaborative effort of voice professionals (laryngologist, voice therapist, psychologist, voice teacher, etc.).
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