Songwriting via Skype. An online music therapy intervention to enhance social skills in an adolescent diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (p3 - p14)
The provision of therapy to clients is gaining strong recognition as effective in medicine, psychiatry, and other allied health fields. However, music therapists are yet to engage with this therapy context. Working with an adolescent with Asperger's Syndrome, we trialled an online songwriting intervention via video conferencing software (in this case Skype Ltd) and compared the adolescent's participation with participation in a face-to-face context. A microanalysis of video footage combined with interview reflections form the treating therapist and adolescent were analysed to build a picture of engagement and skills in social interaction. Our investigation showed that the adolescent was highly engaged in the Skype session, offered more eye contact, was more creative in his lyric creations and was more confident to offer disagreeing statements. Further trials using online approaches are needed to ensure that music therapy approaches are aligning with practices occurring in other health disciplines and that therapy services can be accessed by those unable to attend music therapy clinics.
Keywords: Asperger's Syndrome, telehealth, music therapy, songwriting, social interaction
Including the Excluded. Music therapy with adolescents with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (p15 - p24)
This paper describes the use of music therapy in supporting adolescents from a deprived, inner-city background with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) and draws on the author's work with adolescents in SEBD schools and pupil referral units (PRUs). The complex needs of this client group are outlined in terms of social, cultural, developmental and organic factors. The difficulties they face in accessing traditional National Health Service-based psychotherapy are described and ways of providing a more inclusive therapy service are suggested including the use of music therapy, providing therapy in schools rather that in mental health clinics and thinking about the nature of the therapeutic relationship being offered. The need to ensure that music therapy practice adapts to the cultural needs of such clients is also explored with a focus on the use of music technology and rap. A case study is used to illustrate the approach used by the author.
Keywords: adolescents, music therapy, grime, exclusion, social, emotional behavioural
Quietening the Voices. Making a space for music in individual music therapy with an elderly refugee (p25 - p31)
The article presents a case study of individual music therapy with an elderly Iraqi refugee in a day hospital for the elderly mentally ill. It highlights themes that arise from working with a traumatised client of a different culture and different generation, and the range of ways which music was used. It draws on psychological theories to shed light on the developing relationship between therapist and client.
Keywords: case study; music therapy; elderly; psychiatry; refugee; culture
In search of a theory. Reflections on music therapy and psychodynamics (p32 - p40)
This paper is a version of a talk originally given and the 3rd International Symposium of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapists in 2006. It is a personal account of my own development as a music therapist over more than 15 years working with children and adults. It describes how I became interested in psychodynamic music therapy and how my understanding of the relationship between music therapy and psychodynamic theory has changed over that time.
The paper also relates my own ideas to those of other music therapy writers over the pas 15 years, in particular Ansdell (1995), Pavlicevic (1996) and Streeter (1999). It is not intended as a full critique of these writers, and moreover some other relevant texts (e.g. Aigen 2005 and Malloch and Trevarthen 2009) are not referred to in depth. It does, however, present a preliminary model of the possible relationships between improvisational music therapy in general (as practised in the UK) and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, and in particular the relationship between musical interaction in music therapy and psychodynamic theory.
Keywords: psychodynamic, music therapy, psychotherapy, theory