The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: experiences of co-working as music therapists (p67 - p75)
This paper describes the experiences of two music therapists who have been working together for ten years and the benefits of this partnership. It shows how working practices and therapeutic processes have evolved over a decade. It demonstrates that working as a team over this length of time resulted in significant improvements to the therapy given to children with special needs aged between 2 and 18 and also to the support offered to their parents.
The various topics covered include the development of a co-therapy assessment procedure, group psychodynamic music therapy for children with special needs, sessions for children and their parents, the significance of counter-transference and the importance of supervision.
Service evaluation: music therapy and Medicine for the Elderly (p76 - p89)
This paper describes a six-month evaluation of the music therapy service in a Medicine for the Elderly unit. It describes the unit and introduces the role of music therapy in this clinical area, with reference to relevant literature. The service evaluation is then described in detail. Four evaluation methods are presented. A user feedback questionnaire, which was designed by the writer for music therapists, is presented with results and discussion. A twelve-week music therapy group is observed and evaluated using rating scales to measure the level of patient communication and interaction within and outside the group. Two clinical vignettes are presented and, finally, qualitative observations are outlined.
The paper then describes how these four methods were used to produce management recommendations for future service planning. It highlights the need for service providers to engage in consultation with service users when planning and reviewing services. It emphasises how important it is for music therapists to evaluate their services, and sets out this model in the hope that it will provide ideas and guidance for therapists wishing to do the same.
The longest goodbye - a case study ( p90 - p96)
This article is a case study of a client whom I shall call Simon. He attended music therapy with me for four years. In this paper I aim to explore the concept of containment and the provision of a safe, facilitating environment, illustrating in the case material how integral they are to my work as a music therapist. Using the material, I demonstrate how Simon moved from being chaotic and uncontained in his self-expression to a place where he was able to explore his feelings and share them with me.
From early on in the music therapy with Simon, 'ending' became a dominant theme. I aim to explore the reasons why endings were so significant, how Simon responded to endings and how we negotiated the important ending of our therapeutic relationship.
'New York Mining Disaster' (p97 - p104)
This paper describes a four-and-a-half year period within the long-term music therapy treatment of a mentally ill forensic psychiatric patient. It charts the development from an exclusively music-based approach to one in which words played a key part, in the form of song material, the use of spoken interpretations by the therapist, and the patient's own verbal responses. Clinical descriptions are set alongside attempts to understand the material using a psychoanalytic model. In particular, it is suggested that the patient's emptying out and deadening of lively contact constitutes a psychotic defence against feelings of loss and dependency. The article also looks at issues of denial, specifically in relation to the patient's offence and his position within the institutional system, but also in terms of the therapeutic relationship: is the patient able to find a place from which to observe and acknowledge the relationship that is taking place? Or does his defensive organisation dictate that no third position can be admitted?
Contemporary Voices in Music Therapy: Communication, Culture and Community - Reviewed by Cathy Durham (p104)
The Science and Psychology of Music Performance: Creative Strategies for Teaching and Learning - Reviewed by Alexandra Lamont (p106)
Art Therapies and Progressive Illness: nameless dread - Reviewed by David Aldridge (p107)
Culture-Centered Music Therapy - Reviewed by Mercédès Pavlicevic (p108)