Tomatis Method

Dr Kay Distel, PhD,
Psychotherapist, Listening Consultant

We invite you to explore your listening, and discover how listening affects so many aspects of your life

Dr Kay Distel was licensed in 1997 as a Tomatis Consultant and has based in Brisbane since 2004. She has a unique practice of operating both clinical programs and managingSolisten and the TalksUP Home programs.

Her full Consultancy membership required over 140 hours of professional training, on-going supervision and membership with the international accrediting body. In 2006 the Tomatis Consultants collated a book The Listening Journey for children from different cultures of case studies showing the scope and diversity of Tomatis clinical practice world-wide. My case is in chapter 3 is called Nigel’s Diary (Page 41) Download for FREE, and other research articles at

What does the Tomatis Method do?

It retrains the listening system by using electronically modified music and language to re-educate, stimulate and improve the way we process auditory information by assisting and enhancing the ability to differentiate between certain frequencies. Auditory differentiation is a pre-requisite for language development and for the processing of all auditory information reaching the brain. The training is provided using a mini computer delivered through advanced electronic and audio circuitry known as the Electronic Ear. Education with the Electronic Ear requires a variety of specific sound stimuli to envelop all the phases of listening; from a liquid medium (in utero) to the most evolved in adulthood. The main goal is to maximize our innate capacity for communication by restoring the individuals full potential as a listener.

The pioneering work of the late Dr A A Tomatis  laid the groundwork for a new multi-disciplinary science he called Audio-Psycho-Phonology (APP) to explain ‘why the way we listen has a profound impact on almost all aspects of our being.

Dr. Tomatis was the first scientist who, as early as the 1950’s, discovered the fundamental role the ear plays in voice production, speech, language, reading, motor skills and co-ordination, and  allowed him to describe a distinction between hearing and listening.

The use of sound stimulation to improve listening and related skills is one of Tomatis’s greatest contributions.

Dr. Tomatis developed a highly effective program using the music of Mozart and Gregorian chant modified to give the person an ‘ideal’ listening ear.

Auditory Processing issues are at the root of most learning issues

We may hear well but don’t listen well. Listening requires motivation or desire to focus on the sound coming via the ear. Without inner motivation learning will be inconsistent and difficult despite being of high intelligence!

From both ongoing research and programs delivered by Tomatis practitioners for over forty years, this work can substantially improve auditory processing difficulties by:

Auditory Discrimination

This means being able to distinguish and become flexible to the variety of high and low frequencies that exist in nature and speech. An example of poor auditory discrimination is not ‘hearing’ the difference of ‘s’ and ‘z’, ‘p’ and ‘b’ — common in any learning child with learning difficulties.

Once the auditory system and the brain processes sound more effectively, an increased ability to listen is possible so that the foundation of language development and literacy — reading and writing — can be achieved more easily.

Consultation and Assessment – A choice of a clinic or a home based program
The overriding question I have to answer during an assessment is whether this client has sufficient motivation, control and self-regulation to sustain an intensive program at home. To make this decision I utilize the information from an interview, a case history, the analysis of the Tomatis Listening Test (an audiological test), relevant pencil and paper tests and computer based auditory processing tests.

I understand the Tomatis perception of listening as a development of the whole person through the integration of all the senses rather than viewing listening just as a skill to develop. Listening Integration training becomes a process to mature the affect (emotional) regulation by strengthening the neural pathways as subtle changes in laterality occur in the first passive phase of the program (usually 30 hours), followed by an active second phase when reconnection is made at a deeper level of voice/ear/brain continues to develop the self-regulatory capacities of the person.

I value directly supporting the mother with the child in the clinic so that I can fully utilize my expertise in counseling, sensory practices, observation and knowledge as the program unfolds, and to monitor and change the program as the need arises. Previously children with severe sensory overload and other cases of disability who displayed high levels of stress and anxiety, may not have been suitable for a home program. However,with the development of a new headset assists the active phase of the program in extending home training programs.

To book an in depth consultation and assessments for an individualised program please Contact Us

Using Tomatis Listening program in a preschool

Integrating the method in a nursery school (The Columbian Centre Project) has shown the benefits of a preventative approach by seeing changes in attention, balance and learning ability in all their students. As well they have picked up those children subject to speech delay. Watch this video.

We are seeking similar opportunities in Australia. Please call or Email your interest to know more.

Tomatis’s original books in English: , “The Ear and Language” one of his first books is a classical book whereas “The Ear and Voice’ is especially useful for singers.”The Conscious Ear”, the story of his life and research is presently out of print.

Two respected professionals with many years working with the Tomatis Method bring the work into easy-to-read practical steps:

Madaule, P (2003) When Listening comes Alive Moulin Publishing. and Sollier, P (2010) The Sound of Wellness

For Free information session to see how our programs could benefit you or somebody you know.

I arrived ten days ago absolutely spent after half the house had been cleared of furniture- the floors sanded and recoated then all furniture returned to normal placings.
The first few days all I could do was sleep in a very deep relaxed state while listening to the lovely Tomatis music. Gradually some of my old energy returned. I have been doing a cleanse at the same time- so I’m not surprised that the energy levels are low. However the change – deep relaxation, good plane food and friendly company have been calming and great for morale.

I can recommend this Tomatis Listening program for all other octagenarians or younger folk interested in self improvement through better listening skills. Thanks Kay ( BV Feb 2016)
Clinical Program Feedback from an Octagenerian