Current trends in music therapy and pain management
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SubjectMusic therapy; Pain management; Treatment modalities; Therapeutic relationship; Interdisciplinary teamwork
The purpose of this study is to examine music therapy (MT) as it is currently used in the treatment of individuals who are coping with pain. A 36-question survey, offering both multiple choice and short answer questions, was offered to professional music therapists (MT-BC) with clinical experience living and working within the United States (U.S.). Potential survey participants were identified through their membership with the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). A total of 246 music therapists participated in this survey. The majority of respondents (36%) reported utilizing a combination of methods from a variety of MT theoretical perspectives. Fifty-eight percent of respondents indicated that they use music in sessions for the purpose of pain management at least "sometimes," and 93% perceive that the client-therapist relationship, otherwise referred to as the therapeutic relationship, is an extremely important factor in whether MT treatment will be successful in pain management. Ninety-four percent of all respondents admit to collaborating with at least one other type of helping professional, and 91% of respondents believe that interdisciplinary teamwork is very important when working with clients and pain management. Results of this survey indicate that Board-Certified Music Therapists in the U.S. are conducting therapeutic sessions utilizing various MT techniques for pain management, and believe in the necessity of an optimal client-therapist relationship. Implications of the results for clinical practice and future direction of music therapy research are discussed.
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