Understanding therapeutic relationship with a young adult with autistic spectrum disorder in improvisational music therapy
SubjectResearch Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Music; Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology::Applied psychology; Autism Spectrum Disorder; Music therapy; Client therapist relationship; Improvisational music therapy
This qualitative single case study research described the growth and development of Robert (name changed for confidentiality), a young adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), through his participation in improvisational music therapy. This study focuses on his music therapy engagement from February 2014 to July 2014 during the author’s internship training. The purpose of this case study is to illustrate how the therapeutic relationship, specifically client/therapist interactions, can be enhanced through improvisational music therapy. As a music therapy intern (MTI), I provided 36 individual music therapy sessions during the course of six months. The treatment goal was to increase interpersonal interactions, primarily through instrumental improvisation. The improvised music is analyzed by graphic notation, originated by Bergstrøm-Nielsen (1993), and through traditional music notation. Both forms of analysis illustrated a growing musical interrelatedness between Robert and me, thus supporting the use of improvisational music therapy as an effective means of improving interpersonal interactions in persons with ASD.
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