Past Journals
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Published: Mon 1st July
ISSN 1359-4575

This Journal is available to purchase

Journal Articles:
Editorial (p3-5)
Gentling the Bull: * Harnessing Anti-Group Forces in Music Therapy Group Work with Adults with Learning Disabilities (p6-15)
view abstract
This paper aims to examine music therapy group work with adults with learning disabilities, with a particular focus on the musical manifestations of the 'anti-group' (Nitsun 1996) forces. Anti-group is a concept formulated by the group analyst Morris Nitsun in order to describe the destructive aspects of groups that threaten their integrity and therapeutic development. To illustrate the working of anti-group forces in a music therapy group which I ran for 3 years in an NHS clinic for adults with learning disabilities. Finally I will try to illustrate how recognising, confronting and harnessing the forces of the anti-group (firstly by the therapist and then by the group members) provided the group with opportunities for growth and creativity, in particular in the way the members related to each other musically. Keywords: adults with learning disabilities, group work, anti-group
Group Music Therapy on a Dementia Assessment Ward: An Approach to Evaluation (p16-31)
view abstract
This article presents an approach to evaluating a music therapy pilot project carried out on a dementia assessment ward and introduces the framework for evaluation developed by the music therapist. This framework aims to describe and categorise patients' involvement in sessions, which may help to define clear outcomes for patients. It also highlights the relevance of music therapy treatment to the goals of the multi-disciplinary team on the ward and to current thinking and policy about dementia care, as described in the National Dementia Strategy (DoH 2009). The project was a collaboration between the local NHS trust (Older Adults Therapies Team), Soundwell Music Therapy Trust and the hospital League of Friends. Soundwell is a specialist mental health music therapy charity, founded in 2002 to provide music therapy and music support groups for mental health service users and unpaid carers in Wiltshire and Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES). A further, extended pilot project is being planned, subject to funding. It is hoped that this will offer the opportunity to trial the evaluation approach more extensively. Keywords: dementia, evaluation, group music therapy.
Does Rhythm in Music Therapy Have an Organising Effect on the Agitated Behaviours of People with a Diagnosis of Dementia? An Investigation into Music Therapists' Current Practice (p32-51)
view abstract
While previous research on music therapy and dementia has shown the positive outcomes gained from interventions, it lacked specificity regarding techniques utilised by practising music therapists. Recent developments in music therapy and neuro-rehabilitation have shown rhythm to be an integral part of accessing remaining cognitive functioning following brain injury and deterioration. This article is based upon a recent research project that investigates the potential of rhythm by patients with dementia. It is speculated that such chaos is often expressed through agitated behaviours, and that rhythm can be used in such instances as a means to stimulate meaningful behaviour. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews with four music therapists and was coded and categorised in order to establish themes. Results showed that the use of individualised rhythmic interventions was functional as therapists noted reduced agitation, more organised physical movement and other communications, meaningful interaction and emotional reassurance. The results also suggest that the Cochrane review's conclusion that no substantial evidence exists to support the use of music therapy with dementia patients might be challenged by further research. Keywords: music therapy, dementia, rhythm, agitated behaviours.
Book Reviews
Felicity Baker and Sylka Uhlig (eds): Voicework in Music Therapy: Research and Practice (p52-53)
Petra Kern and Marcia Humpail (eds): Early Childhood Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Developing Potential in Young Children and Their Families (p54-57)
Journal Watch (p58)
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