Dr Katrina Skewes McFerran is Professor of Music Therapy, Director of Graduate Research in Creative Arts Therapies, and Head of the new Masters of Creative Arts Therapies (Dance/Drama) at The University of Melbourne. She is a registered music therapist with the Australian association, and Commissioner for Research and Ethics of the World Federation of Music Therapy, as well as being an Editor of the open-access, online forum for music and health – Voices.no. She is also creator of the free-access MOOC – How Music Can Change Your Life – which is full of videos, podcasts and other educational resources for non-music therapists. Her career as a music therapy researcher has largely been focused on young people across a range of health, community and education contexts, and she has written numerous books, chapters and published more than 90 refereed journal articles on this topic. Her most recent publications include a critical review of the music therapy and adolescent literature (McFerran, K.S. (2019). Adolescents and Music Therapy: A Reflective Review with Recommendations for Research and Practice, Music Therapy Perspectives, online first, doi: 10.1093/mtp/miz014) as well as a book on beginning music therapy research (McFerran, K.S. & Silverman, M.J. (2018). A Guide to Designing Research Questions for Beginning Music Therapy Researchers. Washington: American Music Therapy Association Publishers.), as well as co-editing an Oxford University Press Handbook with Phillipa Derrington and Suvi Saarikallio (McFerran, K.S., Derrington, P. & Saarikallio, S. (Eds.) (2019). Oxford Handbook of Music, Adolescents and Wellbeing. Oxford. UK: Oxford University Press.)
In this interview Luke talked to Katrina about music therapy as an intervention for psychological trauma, including some of her recent research which raises questions about whether we can reliably predict music therapy outcomes in this area of practice. Also, is 'emotional regulation' a beneficial therapeutic aim? And some handy tips on how to make your presentation look more 'scientific' than it really is!