Practiced in the United States since the early 1800s, music therapy was first used with military veterans during World War II, when it was adopted as part the therapeutic programs for injured service members recovering in U.S. Army hospitals. Music therapy grew as a profession following World War II, but its implementation as a treatment for veterans did not keep up with its use in other areas.
In recent years, however, music therapy has seen a rise in popularity within the military and in other organizations serving veterans and active-duty service members. Therapeutic programs that incorporate music have proved beneficial for veterans with physical impairments and those coping with social, emotional, and/or cognitive issues. Music therapy has shown to be particularly effective in assisting individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder, a condition that is prevalent among veterans of recent conflicts.