Improvised Stories in Music Therapy with a Child Experiencing Abuse (p43 - p52)
Music therapy is a useful intervention for children who have experienced sexual abuse. It can offer them opportunities to express their current difficulties, to tell their story musically and metaphorically, and to receive support and care from an appropriately trained and boundaried adult. This article describes the journey of a ten year old boy in psychodynamically-oriented music therapy, focusing on his use of stories as a means of exploring issues within the therapeutic process, as well as reflecting on his experience of abuse.
From performer to container: a psychiatric group with a musically accomplished client (p53 - p57)
This article explores the case of a musically accomplished client for whom an indirect therapeutic intervention involving musical improvisation was provided within the context of a psychiatric music therapy group.
In making music in a group, musically accomplished clients can dominate the music making with their strong musical skills. Their means of participating in group improvisational play often reflects a self-protective narrowing down of awareness.
The case considered here demonstrates that 'performers' in such groups can learn to relax their defensive stance and play supportive music when the therapist facilitates the development of the group by modelling collaborative improvisation, rather than by intervening directly. An example of this kind of therapeutic intervention is described from a psychoanalytic perspective, focusing on the improvisational playing of the client and group in different phases of the case.
Drawing and drumming: a pilot art and music therapy group on an assessment ward in a medium secure unit ( p58 - p67)
This abstract describes a pilot open art and music therapy group which took place on an assessment ward in a Medium Secure Unit for patients detained under the UK's Mental Health Act. The aim was to offer an optional therapeutic space to patients who had limited access to off-ward therapy and activities, and to see whether this would be of value in this setting.
The ward environment is described, the need for onward therapy outlined and relevant literature surveyed the planning, setting up and evaluation of two phases of the work are then detailed, with particular focus on the rationale for the ways in which settings were run and the roles of the two therapists (one a music therapist, the other an art therapist). Changing group membership and its impact on the therapy is described, and modifications to the original approach explained.
Feedback from staff and patients is presented and discussed, leading to reflections on the value of this kind of therapeutic experience in such a setting.
An investigation into time relationships in co-improvisation with children having epileptic fits (p68 - p77)
This qualitative research project investigates aspects of time and timing in co-improvisation with children suffering from epilepsy. Recently, a growing interest in time and timing has emerged in the field of music therapy. However, the impact of epilepsy on time relationships in music therapy has not been systematically explored to date.
Using both video recordings of sessions and interviews with therapists experienced in working with epileptic children as data, the impact of epilepsy on musical time relationships is explored. Time relationships are understood to include not only the relationship between the therapist's and client's timings, expressed in timing of musical activity and body movements, but also the subjective experiences of time and therapist has whilst working with epileptic children, especially when they have a seizure.
The findings of this study support and complexify previous theoretical writings on time and timing in the music therapy literature. The impact of an epileptic seizure on the timing between client and therapist is analysed. The complex relationships between timing and psycho-physiological changes are explored, including possible effects of the therapist's emotional responses on timing. The findings of the study suggest that music therapists share certain experiences of time in work with epileptic children. Finally, there is a discussion of music-therapeutic strategies used by therapists when time relationships are affected by an epileptic episode.
Feminist Perspectives in Music Therapy - Reviewed by Clare O'Callaghan (p78)
Music Therapy Groupwork with Special Needs Children: The Evolving Process - Reviewed by Elaine Streeter (p80)
Music and Life in the Field of Play: An Anthology - Reviewed by Susan Hadley (p81)