Resistance in music therapy
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SubjectMusic therapy -- Methodology; Music therapy -- Practice; Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology
This study explores music therapists’ experiences of resistance in therapy. Resistance has been defined as the direct or indirect oppositional behavior of a client due to possible reluctance to change (Newman, 2012). Though resistance has a long history being described in psychoanalytic literature, little is known about its role in music therapy outside of music psychotherapy. This study asked the following research questions: How do music therapists experience resistance in music therapy? In addition, this paper explored how music therapists utilize resistance to help people in music therapy. Eight board-certified music therapists (MT-BC) with various backgrounds of experience were interviewed to gain an understanding of clinicians experiences with resistance and how it manifests in music therapy. Interviews were transcribed and coded using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Data analysis revealed nine specific themes which were categorized under three general sections - (1) Managing Resistance included three themes: building rapport, acceptance/encouragement, and consistency - (2) The Role of Music included three themes: music for expression, music for connection, and music to match and - (3) Clinicians’ Reactions included three themes: personal thoughts, questioning ability, and perspective. Implications of the study, including the benefits and limitations of resistance for clinical practice are discussed.
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