Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Critical Analysis of the Lived Experience of Music Therapists in Clinical Relationship
by Arthur, Meghan Hinman, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2016, 181; 10277294
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation endeavors to explore and describe the lived experience of music therapists’ relationships with their clients as it develops in individual music therapy sessions. Music therapy literature, reviewed with particular attention to its treatment of the psychodynamic conceptualization of clinical relationship, suggests a shaky marriage between music therapy and psychoanalytic thought, and the experience of the music therapist in this landscape has not been studied. As its data, this study relies on semi-structured interviews with 7 music therapist volunteers who provide individual music therapy, focusing on their experience of emotion, interpersonal connection with their patients, and utility of psychodynamic concepts in that work. Idiographic and nomothetic analysis revealed 4 common themes in music therapists’ experience of clinical relationship, which belie an underlying sense of confusion and anxiety about important aspects of the work. The discussion of findings examines these themes in the context of the powerful impact music can have on the psyche, and makes recommendations regarding the inclusion of psychodynamic concepts in music therapy training. Keywords: music therapy, relationship, psychoanalysis, transference, countertransference, projective identification, boundaries

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bishop, Allen
Commitee: Abrams, Brian, Thomas, Douglas
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychotherapy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Music, Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Boundaries, Countertransference, Music therapy, Psychoanalysis, Relationship, Transference
Publication Number: 10277294
ISBN: 978-1-369-73532-1
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